HIST 1361 9/10/09 The Politics of Empire The British Government -Constitution -Monarchy (Absolute: unbounded by law. Divine right of kings. (Constitutional: the law has the last word, not king/queen. Constitution defines and limits monarch?s powers. Glorious Revolution (1688) ? Bloodless revolution. James II was removed from power. Protestant daughter, Mary, and her husband, William, were brought to England to rule. Brought to rule under several limitations: English Bill of Rights ? contained a series of protections for individual rights as well as for the monarchy. Parliamentary supremacy ? parliament had the final say in the law, not the monarch Monarch could not raise taxes without parliament consent Monarch could not disband parliament Monarch could not raise an army without consulting parliament Monarch could not veto an act of parliament Written constitution ? bill of rights, other statements of rights. Added and clarified laws. Mixed government ? ?checks and balances.? All parties are somehow represented. Monarch, House of Lords (represented nobility), House of Commons (representative government) Did not want to create a democracy Made sure each group had a means of representation and each group could balance their power against the other two. *British government became increasingly a cabinet government -close advisors came from parliament (esp. House of Commons) -?Ministers? -cabinet became more and more responsible to House of Commons, not King. Virtual representation: idea that every member of parliament, once elected, represented not only people in his district, but everyone in the English empire. Colonial governments -British colonists were guaranteed the same rights as other British subjects -Most colonists were loyal to the crown, as well as to parliament Types of Colonies: Royal- colonies whose charter was owned by the crown Governor of colonies was often chosen by King. King had as much direct control as he wanted over colonial policy In the end, most colonies ended up as royal colonies Proprietary ? individual person had the charter for the colony Proprietor would maintain leadership of colony and sell his land Proprietor directed colonization, but did not exercise powerful rules Colonies that started out: Pennsylvania, Delaware, North & South Carolina, Georgia, New York, New Jersey Charter ? colonies for which the charter was owned by a corporation No individual person controlled these colonies All New England colonies, and Virginia, started out as charter Crown converted colonies to royal *structure of colonial governments was similar to that of Great Britain *no system of inheriting land or a title ? no aristocracy *governor had a council like the king?s cabinet Governor ? *Royal: King appointed governor *Charter: Governor might be elected or chosen by council *Arrive from England with instructions Council ? *Served as the upper house in the legislature *Served as an advising body for governor *Members of the council were appointed (by governor, king, proprietor, etc) Lower House of the Assembly ? *Paralleled the House of Commons *Legislated for the colony *Any law they passed had to be approved by King and council in England *Always elected by colonists *Property requirements for holding office were higher than requirements for voting -Governor had two key powers -authority to call up or send home colonial legislature -governor?s could veto legislation passed by the assembly -limits to their authority: *king, proprietor, or charter could limit governor?s role *governor didn?t have patronage to offer. *percentage of eligible voters was larger than it was in England *assemblies controlled the money Radical Whig ideology -New political philosophy -Whig party: Constitutional government where the parliament had most of the power -Radical Whigs broke off -Feared two developments: Cabinet government Increased power of parliament In favor of true mixed government -Contest between liberty and power -these two forces are at the very core of politics and government and that it is essential to keep them in balance.
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