Institutions of British political history

709 Words3 Pages
Four major events of British political history consist of the Magna Carta, English Common Law, Parliament and the English Bill of Rights. Each of these events is reflected in America’s political history. The Magna Carta is an English legal document written in 1215 and had a major influence on the developing on the English legal system. Because England’s legal system was a model by many former colonies when they developed their own legal system, the Magna Carta also impacted many other governments. More importantly the Magna Carta changed the face of England forever, by establishing that the King was not above the law. King John signed the document after much pressure from the church and his barons. The King would often live above the law violating both feudal and common law. The barons, along with the church, pressured King John to spell out a list of their rights and a guarantee that they would be enforced. The Magna Carta states that the king must seek the advice and consent of the barons in all important matters of state, including the raising of taxes. In later centuries, these provisions were used to assert that no law could be passed or tax raised without the consent of the body representing all the people, the Parliament. Due process of law and trial by jury of ones peers can also be found in the Magna Carta. The Parliament of Great Britain is the legislative body of the nation. Parliament consists of the monarch, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The power by Parliament is unlimited, making it the ruler of the nation. All important legislation is introduced into Parliament by the government. The House of Lords can initiate amendments on bills and delay legislation. Because the government usually has a majority in commons, it can normally ensure that its major policies are accepted by Parliament.During the reign of Edward I, which began in
Open Document