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The UK Monarchy, Parliament & House of Lords: Historical Development & Reforms

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Introduction - The Evolving Role of the British Monarchy

AC1.1 Describe the development of the Monarchy and the current controversy over its remaining role and power

Types of Monarchy

Monarchy is the oldest form of government in the United Kingdom. The British Monarchy is known as a constitutional monarchy, where the sovereign or queen acts as the head of state and has the power to transform any law or regulation elected by Parliament (Clancy, 2021). 

The Magna Carta 1215

The Magna Carta Liberatam, also known as the Magna Carta, was the first written document issued in June 1215, setting out various rules and regulations where the government and the king became subject to parliamentary law. This required the king to refrain from abusing his power and to establish new laws within him that would limit the royal authority.

People's Reaction to the Magna Carta

The act of Magna Carta stated that any captive people could not be punished for their created crime until and unless they were lawfully convicted. For the first time in 1215, the world witnessed a struggle against the dictatorship that had never happened before for the general people. This is the first time that law and liberty have been written for England's common people, and five hundred and fifty-five years later, it has given birth to democracy.

Initially, the Magna Carta tried to define the limits of political power without basing them on the sovereignty of the common people; according to many philosophers, it has been identified as the main negative influence of Magna Carter for more than 800 years (Dunkelberger, 2022).

AC2.1 Analyse the historical development of the Parliament

Define Parliament Timeline of the development

Starting from the 13th to 17th century, the Parliament of England acted as the Kingdom of England legislature. In 1215, the Magna Carta was the first ratified English Parliament to establish numerous rights and laws for the common people governed by the King of Government Affairs of the Legislative Assembly (Farrell and Hughes, 2019). From 1295 to 1542, the English Parliament embraced nobles and bishops and included two different representatives for each county and town within England's territory. From the next century on, the membership of the English Parliament was divided into two separate houses, the same as they are today, with bishops and noblemen representing The House of Lords and general senates representing from the House of Commons, alternatively known as "Burgess".

While on the throne of Henry IV, the role of the English Parliament extended beyond the resolution of tax policy to include "redress of grievances", which enabled English citizens to appeal to resolve grievances in their local cities and counties; during this time, citizens were given the authority to vote and elect their preferable representatives for the House of Commons called as the Burgesses. In 1066, William the Conqueror introduced a procedure that became famous as the feudal system in the next century. He sought the advice of tenants-in-chief and landlords before enacting any legislation.

In 1215, the tenant-in-chief secured the Magna Carta from King John, establishing that the king could not levy any tax without the consent of his court except the feudal tax, which was gradually introduced within the modern Parliament. According to researchers, during the sovereignty of the Tudor kings, it is often argued that the modern structure of the English Parliament began to take the modern shape. Over time, the English Parliament gradually limited the English Monarchy's power, which perhaps turned into the English Civil War and drove the High Court justice trials for Charles I (Como, D.R., 2018).

Comparison between the old and new Parliament structure of the UK

The Palace of Westminster has operated as the center of power for more than 900 years in the UK. The study in this section analyses the development of English parliamentary sovereignty, from the whole sovereign rule to the authority of the Monarchy and finally to the modern democratic legislature in the technological age.

Formerly the parliamentary system in the United Kingdom was based on the rules of the Monarchy, where dedicated kings, queens, or emperors ruled entirely over their citizens in the modern UK legislature parliamentary system is based on democracy, and the government is elected by the people and citizens of the United Kingdom (Savoie, D.J., 2019)

Democracy and Monarchy are completely different forms of government with their principles and ideology. Former UK parliamentary and political system heads were selected by inheritance, especially the crown of the kings was passed from one generation to another generation. In the modern and technological era, the entire UK parliamentary system majorly operates by the democratic system, where the democratic body or government is powered and derived by the people of the UK. It is a popular form of government, where the whole government is formed by the people and work for the people. This kind of governing power practically rests on the people, who can choose and elect the candidate of their choice and represent them for their exit rules.

A Monarchy regime is generally divided into two parts: constitutional and absolute. In a system of absolute rule, the supreme power rests entirely with the monarchs where the emperor's voice is considered the final law and regulation, against which there is no opportunity for the people or tenants to express their will (Anckar, 2021). On the other hand, the UK's constitutional system of government has a partial separation of powers over the king or queen. Still, they do not have a parliamentary issue in the UK when making laws and regulations. They represented the symbolic head of government, but the government was governed by democracy and a parliamentary board system.

AC3.1 Evaluate the role of the House of Lords and proposals for its reforms

Introduction and influence of the House of Lords

The House of Lords is the second chamber of the UK parliament. It generally examines bills, scrutinizes government actions, and inspects public policies. It is divided and independent from the elected House of Commons in the UK parliamentary activities, and the Lords used to develop and reshape the induced laws and rules to challenge the work of the UK government (McLean, 2018). The House of Lords questions legislation and is eligible to modify or refuse any bill. However, the House of Lords to reject a bill passed in the House of Commons is strictly limited by parliamentary law of the UK.

The advantage of the House of Lords is majorly related to the legislation of the UK. It has multiple important functions such as scrutinizing legislation laws and acts, delaying induced taxes and VAT, and amending and reforming national and international veto bills of the UK government system (McLean, 2018). The House of Lords has the power and can introduce multiple bills and laws until there is a money bill and a political reference.

The disadvantage of the House of Lords is that it is entirely unelected. The house peers acquire their position until they die, so the entire house system is controlled by old-aged ideology and unproductive activities. Most allegations of corruption and misconduct come from the House of Lords. Their associates, the ministers at Lord's, are primarily involved in this corruption and misleading behavior as opponents of the laws and acts.

The House of Lords was developed by the Great Council and used to advise the emperor during their medieval timeline. This royal council was composed of multiple lords, noblemen, and representatives for England and Wales's counties (Blockmans, 2020). House of Lords, referred to as the higher chambers of Great Britain's administration, was created in the 11th century at the time of the Anglo-Saxon consultation for leaders and monarch preachers. The entire process of the House of Lords has been deliberately operational with parliament activities from the 13th and 14th centuries in the UK.

However, the House of Lords loosened its power due to the rejection of the parliamentary budget. The UK's Liberation Party tried to reduce the power of the House of Lords due to the shortage of people's budgets in the general election of 1910 of the UK (Raney and Collier, 2022). Today, the houses of two parliament sections are equally important for the entire UK legislation system; the House of Lords and the House of Commons individually meet inside Westminster in London for the United Kingdom's legitimate Monarchy and the legislation for organising laws and regulations.

AC4.1 Analyse the conflicting pressures on Members of Parliament

Members of Parliament and their workflow

The British Parliament, usually called the "Mother of Parliament", has incorporated the sovereign, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. In the United Kingdom legislation system, a Member of Parliament (MP) is an individual who used to serve the House of Commons on behalf of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (Casey et al., 2019). The voting system elects the 650 members of the UK Parliament as single-member constituencies within the entire United Kingdom. Every constituency of the House of Commons must own a single and individual representative for their services. The MP positions of the UK government are concurrently vacant for the election cycle in every five years.

From the act of Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 compulsory, ordinary general election programs were held on the first Thursday in May within an every five-year cycle. Although, both the 2017 and 2019 general elections in the United Kingdom are approved for elections ahead of the time stipulated by this law. Suppose any uncertain vacancies are arises by any emergency death or resignation by any Member of Parliament. In that case, the consistency can fill the vacancy by an emergency election within the selected consistency of the Parliament. Under the Representation of the People Act 1981, if a Member of Parliament is sentenced to more than one-year imprisonment, he automatically resigns, and another person is appointed to manage the post (Rohner and Saia, 2020).

Only male adult candidates were eligible to run for the UK Parliament in the past. Still, since 1918, women have also been eligible to stand for the UK Parliament and have been elected by popular vote five years apart. To stand as an MP post in the UK voting system, a candidate needs to be 18 years; these include many government professionals such as civil servants, police officers, judges, and military and armed forces. The secondary wings of the UK parliament, the House of Lords members, are not permitted for the MP post and the Commons seats (Hertner, 2021). Additionally, the Northern Ireland Assembly or Senedd are suitable for Wales, and Northern Ireland Provision Acts stated in 2014.

Multiple external pressure on Member of Parliament

Member of Parliament, shortly known as MP, is referred to give as honourable to courtesy during debates within the House of Commons and the peer legislative meeting in the UK. As an example, those MP's are working on the members of the Privy Council they referred to use the from The Right Honourable, in short, The Rt Hon. Or Rt Hon. In front of their actual name (Rt. Hon. the Baroness Chalker of Wallasey, 2020). The primary duty and responsibility of an MP is to do what they believe in themselves and to do justice to the citizens and the people by whom they are elected and given the opportunity. In their legislative responsibilities, they face multiple obstacles and pressures from various external sources such as opposition parties, media, charities, communities, celebrities and many more.

In politics and legislation services, lobbying, arguments, and bribery are the most common obstacles for every political individual and department. An MP gains the majority of the lobbying experience from his own political opponents or opposition parties. It may not always be face to face, and sometimes, it comes from multiple associations and organised groups such as charities, the private sector, social workers, businesses and especially the media and celebrities (TURNBULL?DUGARTE et al., 2021). Pressure groups always point out the interests of the common people; they try to insult the image of an MP in front of their followers by inappropriate government rules, taxes, social activities, employment and the rate of inflammation which is not perfectly regulated or organised by the selected MPs and the ruling parties.

AC5.1 Explain the role of the House of Commons and how it performs that task

House of Commons

The House of Commons is the democratically elected house of the UK parliament system responsible for making laws and rules for the nation's governments and its activities. The UK people elect 650 MPs to represent their concerns and interests on behalf of the House of Commons. The House of Commons considered and referred to new laws and scrutinised legislative policies by the member of the Parliament (MP) or the committees (Parliament, 2022). The House of Commons is periodically called the Commons, it is used to elect politicians to Parliament, and they are called Members of Parliament (MPs).

The House of Commons is entirely administered and performed by the group of MPs and their House of Commons Commission (). Members of Parliament generally deal with major political issues directly related to the general public and by whom they are elected for their positions and positions. The lower house of Parliament of the United Kingdom in the House of Commons. It is important to continue the influence on the upper house of the UK, the House of Lords, for their feudalistic behaviour and dictatorship mentality. The lower house of the UK Parliament is required for the representative conduct of the people, and it can control and manage the entire government through its elected representatives and their parliamentary committees (Collier and Raney, 2018).


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Casey, L.S., Reisner, S.L., Findling, M.G., Blendon, R.J., Benson, J.M., Sayde, J.M. and Miller, C., (2019). Discrimination in the United States: Experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans. Health services research54, pp.1454-1466.

Clancy, L., (2021). The corporate power of the British Monarchy: Capital (ism), wealth and power in contemporary Britain. The Sociological Review69(2), pp.330-347.

Collier, C.N. and Raney, T., (2018). Understanding sexism and sexual harassment in politics: A comparison of Westminster parliaments in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society25(3), pp.432-455.

Como, D.R., (2018). Radical Parliamentarians and the English Civil War. Oxford University Press.

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Farrell, M. and Hughes, E., (2019). 11 Magna Carta and the invention of 'British rights'. Human Rights in the Media: Fear and Fetish.

Hertner, I., (2021). Gender and British politics. In Politics UK: 10th edition (pp. 244-265). Routledge-Taylor Francis.

McLean, I., (2018). 10.1 Classical Justifications of Taxing Land Values. Taxation: Philosophical Perspectives, p.185.

parliament, (2022). [online] Available at: <https://www.parliament.uk/business/commons/> [Accessed 24 May 2022].

Raney, T. and Collier, C.N., (2022). Privilege and gendered violence in the Canadian and British Houses of Commons: a feminist institutionalist analysis. Parliamentary Affairs75(2), pp.382-399.

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Savoie, D.J., (2019). Democracy in Canada: The Disintegration of Our Institutions. McGill-Queen's Press-MQUP.

TURNBULL?DUGARTE, S.J., Townsley, J., Foos, F. and Baron, D., (2021). Mobilising support when the stakes are high: Mass emails affect constituent?to?legislator lobbying. European Journal of Political Research.

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