Nature of Government in Tudor Stuart England

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The nature of government in Tudor-Stuart England, 1558-1667, was such that there were 6 parts of which each had separate but interacting and interdependent roles. They were the Privy Council, the Crown or monarch, Court, Parliament, Local Government and Regional Government. These various parts had a hierarchy of power. The Central Government was the most powerful combination of parts, and the Crown was the most singular part.

The Central Government was made up of the Privy Council and the Crown. The Crown was a personal monarchy and therefore their personality could and did affect their reign and choices. The Crown was seen as being chosen by God and ruled by Divine Rule. They held the right to make any final decisions. The Privy Council, while powerful, was simply there to help and advise the Crown on the best way to carry out the Royal Prerogative. The Royal Prerogative, while being the Crowns powers under Common Law, was also their duties to the country. The Royal Prerogative was split into Ordinary Prerogative and Extraordinary Prerogative. The Ordinary Prerogative was for the everyday running and activities of the country. This involved the areas of Defence (military and faith-wise), Foreign Affairs, Law and Order, Power of Appointment, Trade and Commerce, Currency, and Parliament. The Crown was commander-in-chief of the armed forces. They declared war, made peace, signed treaties and trade agreements, and dealt with diplomacy. They were the ‘fount of justice’ dispensing justice through the law courts, making new courts, issuing royal pardons, appointing judges, ministers, advisers, officials and, if there wasn’t one, an heir. If the monarch were male they could determine church doctrine and appoint bishops - if they weren’t they appointed a male to take on this role. The monarch regulated trade by imposing customs and duties. Money could be minted only on authority of the Crown. While Parliament passed the laws the monarch had the power to veto them, and...
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