Explain the English Bill of Rights.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The English Bill of Rights came out of the Glorious Revolution of 1688.  It was meant mainly as a statement of the rights that Parliament had that could not be taken away by the monarch.

After the Glorious Revolution, William of Orange and his wife Mary (daughter of King James II of England) were offered the English crown.  The offer was contingent on them agreeing not to try to take absolute power in the war that other monarchs had.  The powers that they could not take were spelled out in the Bill of Rights, which can be found in the link below.

Some of the more important provisions of the Bill of Rights were:

  • They could not suspend or negate laws made by Parliament.
  • They could not impose taxes, only Parliament could do this.
  • They could not deny freedom of speech in Parliamentary debates.
  • They should let Parliament meet frequently.

In these ways and others, the English Bill of Rights was meant to prevent the monarchy from trying to take absolute power to itself.

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