A blupete Essay

The English Bill of Rights, 1690, Part 4 to blupete's Essay
"The Canadian Constitution, A History Lesson"

The terms by which William and Mary were placed upon the English throne were constitutionally enshrined in the Bill of Rights (1690). It specifically provided that the crown cannot levy taxes without the consent of Parliament, nor keep a standing army in times of peace; it also provided that Catholics could not be English sovereigns. (In those days Catholicism was more than just a religion; it was a way by which foreigners could intervene in the affairs of England.) Incidentally, the English Bill of Rights did not list the innumerable rights of an Englishman, nor did it have to; but it did confirm two important ones, especially in the context of any dispute which might arise between a tyrannical king and the "people's representatives" such as the very dispute which gave rise to the Glorious Revolution in the first place. It reiterated two rights which are the bastions against a tyrannic regime: the right to bear arms and the right to bring one's grievance before a court of law (right to petition).

It is important to note that as a direct result of the Glorious Revolution, and in defence of it, an influential Englishman, John Locke wrote two treatises on Government. Pushing aside the notion that kings reigned with complete authority because it was their divine right, Locke stated the view that government rested on popular consent and rebellion is permissible when government subverts the ends - the protection of life, liberty, and property - for which government is established.


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Peter Landry

2011 (2019)