History Optional Paper- 2 Solution – 1997: Q.5 (c)
Q.5 (c) “The Bill of Rights (1689) set the seal on Parliamentary supremacy in England.” Comment.
The English Bill of Rights was the outcome of the events precipitated by repeated abuses of power by King James II during his reign from 1685 to 1689. Among these abuses, he suspended acts of Parliament, collected taxes not authorized by law, and undermined the independence of the judiciary and the universities. He interfered in the outcome of elections and trials and refused to be bound by duly enacted laws. Furthermore, he attempted to impose Catholicism on a staunchly Protestant nation through the persecution of Protestant dissenters.
Glorious Revolution of 1688
In November of 1688 William of Orange and his wife Mary, daughter of James II, invaded England with the popular support of the English people and much of the English nobility. James II fled for France and Mary and her husband, William III, ascended the English throne. This is called Glorious Revolution which was bloodless.
The Bill of Rights (1689)
After the accession of William and Mary, the Declaration was adapted to create a Bill of Rights which was enacted in an Act of Parliament, forever altering the balance of power between the sovereign and his subjects.
The Bill of Rights 1689 set the seal on the Parliamentary Supremacy in England through the following provisions:
(1) laws should not be dispensed with or suspended without the consent of Parliament;
(2) no taxes should be levied without the authority of Parliament;
(3) no standing army may be maintained during peacetime without the consent of Parliament;
(4) the election of members of Parliament should be free;
(5) the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament;
(6) Parliaments should be held frequently.