Absolutism Vs Limited Monarchy Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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military service. He also organized a central treasury, called the exchequer, which kept accurate tax records, therefore increasing the king s power. Henry s grandson, Henry II further strengthened the royal government. He expanded upon English courts by extending them to the local, or circuit, level, which consisted of court-appointed juries. In this court, no witness testified, nor was evidence presented, decisions were based on rumors and common knowledge. There were 2 types of English juries, the grad jury, which decided what cases would come to trial, and the trial jury, which issued verdicts on cases. English monarch believed in the practice of common law, or accepted legal principle, which applied equally to all English people. The royal courts increased the king s power

as well as the national treasury, as all fines and fees were collected by it. Although, for the most part, royal expansion was welcomed, it didn t go unopposed. Henry II came in conflict with the church when he attempted to gain control of the Church courts. Henry had appointed a friend as archbishop of Canterbury who opposed his reforms, therefore the two men were at arms with one another. Henry had his friend, Thomas Becket, assassinated by 4 of the king s knights. Much like his father, King John incurred opposition from the Church and the barons. So much conflict with the church had conspired, that Pop Innocent III excommunicated King John. For forgiveness, King John agreed to make England a papal fief and to pay an annual fee to Rome. In the meantime, John was also levying

taxes to fund wars in France. The problem occurred when John lost French territory that the English had held since 1066. The barons resented this loss and were outraged by the taxation. They forced King John to sign a charter, which clearly defined their rights, known as the Magna Carta, or Great Charter. Further along, the Magna Carta was interpreted to extend the rights of nobles, defined in the charter, to all classes. This charter also outlined the Great Council, which is a body of nobles and barons, whose purpose is to approve taxation. The Magna Carta basically made the King a subject of his own laws. The conflicts had yet to cease between the kings and the nobles. The meetings of the Great Council began to include lesser knights and representatives of towns, because both

sides recognized the amazing importance of towns. These meetings of the Great Council became know as the Parliament, for the French word parler, meaning, to talk. King Edward I needed more money to fund wars in France, so he called a meeting Parliament, but instead of the usual body of upperclassmen the meeting included knights, bishops, nobles, and townspeople. This meeting was known as the Model Parliament, and was the structure for the Modern English parliament. In this meeting, a general assembly met where the upperclassmen made decision while the lower classmen observed quietly. The 2 groups then met separately. These 2 groups became known as the House of Lords, comprised of nobles and bishops, and the House of Commons, comprised of knights and townspeople. Over time the

power of the Parliament increased, therefore decreasing the power of the king, with this England transformed. England was at one time an absolute monarchy, where the king had absolute power over everything. Now England is a limited monarch, where the king shares power with the Parliament. To compare two, we can first examine how the 2 countries gained power. France gained power by giving equal consideration to all classes and distributing that power so that all classes were involves, while the king remained the absolute. England, on the other hand, gained power by allowing the upper class to participate in the government, however ignoring the involvement of the common people, until the Magna Carta. Next we must examine how they kept their power, and ways they lost any power.

France kept their power through involvement. France allowed all classes to take part in the bureaucracy, and allow them to make changes and have their voices heard via the Estates General. However, England didn t begin to include common people in government until the power of the king began to decrease upon conflict with the French, the church, and the nobles. This is seen by the reformation of the Parliament, as well as the need for the Magna Carta. Furthermore, it seems that England wasn t an absolute monarchy for as long as perceived. The Magna Carta allowed the nobles to blackmail the king, since he was now a subject of his own laws. This gave the nobles more power prior to the Parliament, proving that the King John lacked absolute power, rather than the perceived