Rise of Parliament

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In the seventeenth century, the political power of the
Parliament in England, and the Monarchy in France increased greatly. These conditions were inspired by three major changes: the aftermath ofthe reformation, the need for an increased governmental financing, andthe reorganizing of central governments. These three points were eachresolved in a different way in both England and in France. The first major point which eventually increased political power wasthe aftermath of the Protestant reformation. In England, after the establishmentof the separate Anglican church of England there were manyprotestant groups left in England still in conflict. These groups alltried to push and pull parliament in their favor -- which ultimatelymade it so that nothing could be done. These conflicts even cameto the point of bloody civil wars and suffering on both sides of thefighting. Parliament ultimately decided to stop these wars by creatingreligious Act of Toleration (1689) for the non-conformist protestants. For many people, this caused more unity in England and increasedpower. In France, the decision was made to unify the country throughthe establishment of a single religious authority, the Catholic Church.The king of France became the heart of this policy, whichgave him control of religion when this went into effect. The next major point was the increase in need for governmental financing. In England, taxing had become under the control of Parliament.In addition to this, the cost of running a government in generalhad gone up and the country needed more money. Because the kingdidn't have as much power to tax as he pleases, the government couldmake a firm and accurate taxation of the people. In France, the priceof government had also gone up. However, here the was a monarchy anda king with great control over the government. Using his control ofthe economy, a strong "Mercantilism" system was used aimed at maximizingforeign exports and reserves. The king became the center of thisnew power.

The last major point which increased political power was the reorganizingof the central governments in both England and in France. The economic changes in this century required new relationships betweenthe King and his subjects. In England, the parliament because ofthis need, grew to have power over the king and cause great tolerationof people's beliefs, in addition to keeping a strong centralgovernment. In France, the Parliaments of Henry IV were totallychanged by the next active king, Louis XIV. Louis XIV created apowerful monarchy the gave him absolute power. He used the slogans "One king, one law, one faith" and "I am the state" to demonstrate his attitudestoward what a leader should be in the setting of seventeenth centuryFrance.

These three points of show how France and England adapted to the needsof the seventeenth century. While similar pressures existed in eachcounty, such as finances and religious differences, each respondedin a manner based on the philosophies and cultures of their land. This increase in political power has vastly effected the destinies of both these countries forever

The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. Its roots go back to the early medieval period. It took over more and more from the power of the monarch, and after the Act of Union 1707 became the main part of the Parliament of Great Britain, and later the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The origin of Parliament can be found in the times of the Anglo-Saxons. Anglo-Saxon kings were advised by a council known as the Witenagemot, to which belonged the King's sons and brothers. The Ealdormen, or executive heads of the shire and the senior clergymen of the state had seats as well. The King still had the highest authority, but laws were made only after seeking the advice (and, in later times, the consent) of the Witenagemot....
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