English Consitutionalism


King James I succeeds Elizabeth I


James I (r. 1603-1625) is Elizabeth's Scottish cousin.

Charles I succeeds his father James I


Charles I dissolves Parliament


Charles wanted to be able to collect customs duties on wine (tonnage) and wool (poundage), but Parliament argued against it. There had also been conflict over religious innovations.

William Laud attempts to impose change in Scotland


Laud = Archbishop of Canterbury. Change = new prayer book and bishoprics ----> Presbyterian Scots reject

"Long Parliament" begins


Limit monarch's power; called by Charles I's need to finance army to beat Scots' rebellion; people disliked taxation without consent, ex: ship money (taxed inland + coastal areas to pay for defense ships)

Triennial Act


Parliament called every 3 years; Laud impeached; Court of High Commission abolished; threatened to abolish institution of episcopacy

English Civil War begins


Parliament didn't trust Charles --> was not willing to give him army he needed to deal with Scottish and Irish rebellion --> Charles recruited army against Parliament --> Parliament recruits own army. Was to decide if sovereigny = in king or Parliament

King Charles I beheaded


Charge of high treason = blow to "divine-right" theory. English Civil War ends. Kingship abolished- commonwealth (republican government) proclaimed. Interregnum (1649-1660 period separating monarchies) begins. Cromwell and army take power.

Cromwell enforces Navigation Act


Mercantilist policy requires English goods be shipped on English boats. results: merchant marine up, short successful war w/ Dutch.

Instrument of Government prepared under Cromwell


Cromwell rules military dictatorship that is officially called a "Protectorate". Constitution drawn up by army that: put executive power in lord protector (Cromwell) & a council of state; triennial Parliament w/ sole power to raise taxes. Cromwell tears up the Instrument & announced quasi-martial law.

Cromwell dies


Military government collapses. English want to restore civilian gov, common law, & social stability.

Restoration of the English Monarchy; Charles II


Charles II (r. 1660-1685), eldest son of Charles I, takes over. Has generally good relations w/ restored Parliament (appointed Cabal- members of Parliament, advisors to king, liasions between executive and legislative branches). Also restored: established Anglican church, courts of law, & local govs through justices of the peace.

Charles II and Louis XIV enter an agreement


Charles would receive 200,000 pounds annually for passing laws for Catholics, gradually re-Catholicize England, support French policy against Dutch + convert Catholicism

Test Act


Those not of the Church Of England couldn't hold public office, preach, teach, attend universities or assemble for meetings. These restrictions could not be enforced; the judges would not convict the "criminal"

James II succeeds his brother, Charles II


CATHOLIC; England's worst nightmare, King causing Glorious Revolution, broke Test Act, suspended law at will, religious freedom. Persecuted Puritans, people who wanted to reform the Church of England, causing them to flee to America.

James II has a son


This proves to be the spark of the Glorious Revolution. It would ensure an unwanted Catholic dynasty for England.

William of Orange and Mary take control


In the event known as the Glorious Revolution, for the little blood shed. William and Mary become the new monarchs of England. They establish the constitutional monarchy, in which the king's power is balanced by the constitution.

Bill of Rights


They with Parliament made the Bill of Rights, in which Parliament made laws, their laws couldn't be vetoed by the king, Parliament has to be called at least every three years, elections/debates had no king interference, judges held positions for good behavior, no standing army during peace, Catholics couldn't possess guns, religious freedom for Protestants and the King must always be Protestant.

Locke's "Second Treatise of Civil"


Locke proposes "natural rights" that the gov must protect in order to avoid being overthrown: life, liberty, and property.


James I

1603 - 1625

Charles I

1625 - 1649

English Civil War

1642 - 1649


1649 - 1660


1653 - 1658

Charles II

1660 - 1685

James II

1685 - 1688

Glorious Revolution

1688 - 1689

William and Mary

1689 - 1694