Parliament and the Monarchy
Starting in 1215, when the Magna Carta was signed by King John, there was a period of nearly 400 years when, from time to time, Parliament and the Monarch would disagree, sometimes violently, about which had the final say in decisions. In the 17th Century there was a Civil War in England when battles were fought between armies representing the King (the Cavaliers') and Parliament (the Roundheads'). Parliament won and King Charles I was eventually executed, although his son, Charles II, was restored to the throne a few years later. The struggle between the Monarch and Parliament came to an end in 1689 when the Bill of Rights was passed. This stated that laws could only be made or repealed by Parliament and not by the Monarch alone. The right to vote
Nearly everyone in the United Kingdom aged 18 and over has the right to vote for their local Member of Parliament. The situation 200 years ago was very different. Although MPs have been chosen by election for over 400 years, it was only in the 20th Century that the right to vote was extended to all adults. At the start of the 19th Century only around 3 adults in every 100, all men, were allowed to vote. Over the following years there were a number of Acts of Parliament, starting with the Great Reform Act of 1832, which gradually extended the right to vote to greater numbers of people. The Representation of the People Act 1918 allowed most women aged 30 and over to vote for the first time and the Representation of the People Act 1969 lowered the voting age from 21 years to 18 as at present. Act of Settlement 1701
The Act of Settlement 1701 decided who should succeed Queen Anne as monarch of England. The Queen had no children who survived, nor did her predecessors William and Mary. All the strongest claimants by blood were Roman Catholic who were not allowed to inherit. Under the Act, it was decided that once Anne died the throne should pass to the ruler of the German state of Hanover,...
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