The Bill of Rights of 1689

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The Bill of Rights of 1689

By Christos Stamelos

The Bill of Rights of 1689

The Bills of Rights of 1689 is a legal document encompassing the basic rights and liberties of the English people. It was compiled as the title states in December 1689 with the title An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown and constitutes a statutory statement that is formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city, or county.

It was result of mounting pressures to remind the King Charles I of the Rights laid out in the Magna Carta(1215) which he clearly challenged by dissolving the parliament and governing by decree. The concept of the “divine” right of the King was directly questioned in that document something that provoked the English Civil War. In the aftermath of the civil war the battle between the Parliament and the monarchy continued relentless.

James II, who was converted in Catholism in 1669, succeeded his brother Charles I and managed to survive various attempts to exclude him from the throne by proceeding to the suspension of laws that discriminated Roman Catholics. In 1668 seven bishops sent an appeal to William of Orange to intervene so as to protect the rights of Englishmen. Consequently, William arrived in November 15th in England and James II was forced to escape to France after losing support. Following a period of turmoil in Scotland and Ireland where forces loyal to James offered resistance, William and Mary were crowned King and Queen of England swearing abiding to the laws of Parliament.

The Bill of Rights was based on the Declaration of Rights that William and Mary accepted on February 13 1689 and was composed by the Parliament of England. Nevertheless, we have no knowledge of the actual persons who created it.

The Bill of Rights was a package of laws which mainly aimed to restrict the powers of the King rather than...
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