Political Institutions UK
History of political parties
The political history of the British Isles. Over the past 800 years has been largely one of reducing the power of the monarchy and transferring authority to a London based Parliament as the sovereign legislative body for all Britain. The original structures were monarchical, aristocratic and non-democratic.
The growth of political parties and constitutional structures.
The growing power of Parliament against the monarch in seventeenth century was reflected in the development of more organized political parties. These derived largely from the ideological and religious conflicts of the Civil War. The groups (Whigs and Tories) became dominant, and this feature was to characterize future British two party politics, in which political power has shifted power between two parties.
The constitutional and governamental framework
Britain has no written constitution contained in any one document. The constitutions consists of statute law (Acts of Parliament); common law (judge-made law); conventions (principles and practices of government that are not legally bindng but have the force of law); some ancient documents like Magna Carta; and the new additiom of European Union Law. The governamental model that operates in Britain is a constitutional monarchy, or parliamentary system, and is divided into legislative, executive and judicial branches. The monarch is head of state and has a role on some executive and legislative levels. The Westminster Parliament or legislature (consisting of the House of Lords, House of Commons and formally the monarch) possesses supreme legislative power in most UK matters.
The monarchy is automatic hereditary succession to the throne, but only for Protestants. The monarch has formal constitutional roles and serves as head of state, head of the executive, judiciary and legislature, ´supreme governor´ of the Church of England and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. In...
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