Seven Steps to a Limited Monarchy

  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta at Runnymede

    Magna Carta at Runnymede
    The move towards a constitutional monarchy began on 15 June 1215 when King John signed the Magna Carta at Runnymede. The document was prepared by the Archbishop of Canterbury as an attempt to garner peace between King John and a group of rebel noblemen. A final rewrite was put forward by Edward I in 1297, and is now a key part of England’s Statute Law.
  • Petition of Right ratified

    Petition of Right ratified
    The Petition of Right of 1628, which became one of England's most important sources of constitutional law, reaffirmed the liberties guaranteed in Magna Carta, prohibited taxation outside of Parliament and extra-legal imprisonment, and guaranteed the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
  • Long Parliament Established

    Long Parliament Established
    England was now governed by the 'Rump' of the Long Parliament, which executed the king, abolished the monarchy and House of Lords, and declared a republic.
  • English Civil War Begins

    English Civil War Begins
    The English Civil Wars are traditionally considered to have begun in England in August 1642, when Charles I raised an army against the wishes of Parliament, ostensibly to deal with a rebellion in Ireland. The Civil Wars saw the beginning of the modern British Army tradition with the creation of the New Model Army. This being the country's first national army, comprised of trained, professional soldiers.
  • Habeas Corpus Act

    Habeas Corpus Act
    Parliament passed the law during the reign of King Charles II (reigned 1660–1685) fearing that the king's Catholic brother James (reigned as James II, 1685–1688) might succeed him and disregard English liberties. The act strengthened the ancient and powerful writ which had been a feature of English Common Law since before Magna Carta. Serving as a safeguard to individual liberty, and preventing unlawful or arbitrary imprisonment.
  • Revolution of 1688

    Revolution of 1688
    England's last absolute monarch. The Glorious Revolution 1688-1689, involved the overthrow of Catholic king James II, who was replaced by his Protestant daughter Mary and her Dutch husband, William of Orange. James II's flight in 1688 had given Parliament the opportunity to alter the succession to the English throne and to elect a King. Having once used this power to offer the throne to William and Mary, Parliament was not hesitant in exercising its influence over the succession again.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    The English Bill of Rights was an act signed into law in 1689 by William III and Mary II, who became co-rulers in England after the overthrow of King James II. The bill outlined specific constitutional and civil rights and ultimately gave Parliament power over the monarchy. The Bill creates separation of powers, limits the powers of the king and queen, enhances the democratic election and bolsters freedom of speech.