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Compare and contrast the English bill of rights and the US bill of rights

Compare and Contrast

• The English Bill of Rights

• http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/england.asp

• The US Bill of Rights

• http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.h tml

• In the 17th century, with the majority of citizens being Protestants, England was developing a democratic outlook. People were beginning to disapprove of the abuse of powers by King James II. He dissolved the Parliament and appointed Catholics to high positions in both his court and the army. He also issued a declaration that suspended all religious tests and allowed free worship. His absolutist tendencies and promotion of Catholicism weakened his support.

• To stop the King’s agenda, seven English lords invited his daughter Mary and her husband Prince William of Orange-the ruler of the Netherlands- to ascend to the throne. However, they issued a declaration which limited the powers of the King and gave Parliament the decisive edge. This was passed as the English Bill of Rights on December 16, 1689.

• Consider the rights granted to individual citizens and the Parliament by the English Bill of Rights and the U.S. Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution). Think about the similarities and differences between the two bills. The term “bill of rights” was first coined by the English. A majority of countries today have adopted this procedure to protect the rights of citizens. According to the English Bill of Rights, England’s monarchs would be subject to law, and Parliament would be called into session every three years. It also prohibited Roman Catholics from occupying the English throne.

Write an essay describing the ways in which the English Bill of Rights is similar to, and different from, the U.S. Bill of Rights.

Template (suggestion)

• I. Introduction: Historical background

• II. Main Ideals: Compare and contrast

• III. Conclusion: Historical significance


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