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Magna Carta to Bill Of Rights: History of Domination of

British Parliament
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History

Submitted by:
Name: Sachi Bhasin
Roll. Number: 2013095
Semester II - B.A./LLB Hons.

Damodaram Sanjivvya National Law University, Visakhapatnam


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October, 2013

Table of Contents

Abstract
The project will emphasize on the important events that have taken place between 1215-1689.
The project also contains a timeline followed by detailed events mentioned thereafter. The events
will only concentrate on the events relating to the Britain Empire.

Timeline:
1215 Magna Carta is signed
1311 1311-1315: The Great Famine
1346 The Battle of Crecy
1347 The Black Death ravages Europe for the first of many times. An estimated one third of
the population is thought to have perished within the first year
1382 The Bible is translated into English by John Wycliffe
1453 The Hundred Years War ends. Calais is the only English possession on Continental
Europe
1455 Johann Gutenberg prints the first of his Bibles on his new printing press
1642 Civil war broke out between King and parliament.
1689 Bill of Rights

1215 Magna Carta


Magna Carta was the first document forced onto a King of England by a group of his subjects,
the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their rights. The charter is
widely known throughout the English speaking world as an important part of the protracted
historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law in England and beyond.
The 1215 document contained a large section that is now called clause 61. This section
established a committee of 25 barons who could at any time meet and overrule the will of the
King if he defied the provisions of the Charter, seizing his castles and possessions if it was
considered necessary.This was based on a medieval legal practice known as distraint, but it was
the first time it had been applied to a monarch. 1
1311- The great famine
The Great Famine of 13151317 (occasionally dated 13151322) was the first of a series of large
scale crises that struck Europe early in the fourteenth century. Places affected include continental
Europe (extending east to Russia and south to Italy) as well as Great Britain.[1] It caused
millions of deaths over an extended number of years and marks a clear end to an earlier period of
growth and prosperity between the eleventh to thirteenth centuries. The Great Famine started
with bad weather in spring 1315, universal crop failures lasted through 1316 until summer
harvest in 1317; Europe did not fully recover until 1322. It was a period marked by extreme
levels of crime, disease, mass death and even cannibalism and infanticide. It had consequences
for the Church, state, European society and future calamities to follow in the fourteenth century.2
The Consequences:
Cultural
Second was the increase in criminal activity. Medieval Europe in the fourteenth century had
already experienced widespread social violence, and even acts then punishable by death such as
rape and murder were demonstrably far more common (especially relative to the population)
compared to modern times. With the famine, even those who were not normally inclined to
criminal activity would resort to any means to feed themselves or their family. After the famine,
Europe took on a tougher and more violent edge; it had become an even less amicable place than
during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Third was the failure of the Medieval governments to
deal with the crisis.

The effects of this could be seen across all segments of society, perhaps the most striking in the
way warfare was conducted in the fourteenth century during the Hundred Years' War where
chivalry was tossed aside, versus the twelfth and thirteenth centuries when nobles were more
likely to die by accident in tournament games than on the field of battle.
1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#List_of_participants

2http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_of_1315%E2%80%9317
The Hundred Years war
The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 between the
Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France for control of the French throne.
The war owes its historical significance to multiple factors. Although primarily a dynastic
conflict, the war gave impetus to ideas of French and English nationalism. Militarily, it saw the
introduction of weapons and tactics that supplanted the feudal armies dominated by heavy
cavalry. The first standing armies in Western Europe since the time of the Western Roman
Empire were introduced for the war, thus changing the role of the peasantry. For all this, as well
as for its duration, it is often viewed as one of the most significant conflicts in medieval warfare.
With respect to the belligerents, English political forces over time came to oppose the costly
venture; while English nobles' dissatisfactions, resulting from the loss of their continental
landholdings, was a factor leading to the civil wars known as the Wars of the Roses. In France,
civil wars, deadly epidemics, famines and bandit free companies of mercenaries reduced the
population drastically.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred_Years'_War

1346 Battle of Crecy


The Battle of Crcy took place on 26 August 1346 near Crcy in northern France. It was one of
the most important battles of the Hundred Years' War because of the combination of new
weapons and tactics used.
The English knights knew the importance of being willing to fight dismounted elbow to elbow
with the pikeman and archers, a procedure which was learned from the earlier Saxons and also
by their battles with the Scots from whom they learned tactical flexibility and the adaptation to

difficult terrain. All of these factors made Edward III's army powerful, even when outnumbered
by the French forces.
Consequences:
The losses in the battle were highly asymmetrical. Contemporary sources provide total figures of
losses for the French that are generally considered as exaggerated as those of the total size of the
army, but convey the sense that casualties were immense.
According to a count after the battle, the bodies of 1,542 French knights and squires were found
in front of where the lines commanded by the Prince of Wales.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cr%C3%A9cy#Aftermath

1648 English Civil war


The English Civil War (16421651) was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations
between Parliamentarians and Royalists in the Kingdom of England over, principally, the manner
of its government. The first (164246) and second (164849) wars pitted the supporters of King
Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third (164951) saw fighting
between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The war ended
with the Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Civil_War

1689 bill of rights


The Bill of Rights is an Act of the Parliament of England passed on 16 December 1689. It was a
restatement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament
to William and Mary in March 1689 (or 1688 by Old Style dating), inviting them to become joint
sovereigns of England. It lays down limits on the powers of the crown and sets out the rights of
Parliament and rules for freedom of speech in Parliament, the requirement for regular elections
to Parliament and the right to petition the monarch without fear of retribution. It reestablished the
liberty of Protestants to have arms for their defence within the rule of law.
the Bill of Rights is still in effect in all Commonwealth realms. It is one of the main
constitutional laws governing the royal succession. Since the implementation of the Statute of
Westminster 1931, the Bill of Rights cannot be altered without the consent of every realm.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_Rights_1689