Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the highest legislative body in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories. It alone has parliamentary sovereignty over all other political bodies. At its head is the Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II.
In the Middle Ages and early modern period there were three kingdoms within the British Isles — England, Scotland and Ireland — and these developed separate parliaments. The 1707 Acts of Union brought England and Scotland together under the Parliament of Great Britain, and the 1800 Act of Union included Ireland under the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The parliament at Westminster in London is sometimes called the "Mother of all Parliaments"
Parliament of England [change]
The English Parliament has its origins in the Anglo-Saxon Witenagemot. In 1066, William of Normandy brought a feudal system, where he sought the advice of a council before making laws. In 1215, this council got the Magna Carta from King John, which established that the king may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which slowly developed into a parliament.
In 1265, Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester called the first elected Parliament. The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535–42 annexed Wales as part of England and brought Welsh representatives to Parliament.
Parliament of Scotland [change]
In the Scotland in the High Middle Ages the King's Council of Bishops and Earls was the beginning of the Parliament of 1235.
Parliament of Ireland [change]
The Irish Parliament was founded to represent the English community in the Lordship of Ireland, but the native or Gaelic Irish were not allowed to vote or stand for office, the first known meeting being in 1264. In 1541 Henry VIII declared the Kingdom of Ireland. The Gaelic Irish lords were now entitled to attend the Irish Parliament as equals of the majority of English descent.
Related pages [change]
|The English Wikibooks has more information on:|
- MPs elected in the UK general election, 2005
- Parliament of England
- List of Parliamentary constituencies in the United Kingdom
- Parliamentary procedure
- Jones, Clyve. (2012). A short history of Parliament: England, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Scotland, p1; excerpt, "It is a commonly held misconception that the Westminster parliament is the 'mother of all parliaments' ... but the original phrase in 1865 was 'England is the mother or all parliaments'"
Further reading [change]
- Blackstone, Sir William 1765. Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Davies M. 2003. Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the proceedings of the House of Lords, 19th ed.
- Farnborough, Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron 1896. Constitutional history of England since the Accession of George the Third, 11th ed. London: Longmans, Green and Co.
- "Parliament." (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge University Press.
Other websites [change]
- The Parliament of the United Kingdom. Official website.
- The Parliamentary Archives of the United Kingdom. Official website.
- History of Parliament. Official website.
- The British Constitution A general introduction to the principles underlying the UK Constitution
- The Parliament of the United Kingdom. Parliament Live TV.
- Provides online viewing of debates in The House of Lords, House of Commons and Westminster Hall debates. In addition, committee meetings can be viewed live or viewed from beginning to end. Using a 56k dial up connection streamed debates can be followed, though with erratic video and sound prone to disruption.
- The British Broadcasting Corporation. (2005). "A–Z of Parliament."
- Information links to Government, political parties and statistics.
- The Guardian. (2005). "Special Report: House of Commons."
- The Guardian. (2005). "Special Report: House of Lords."
- Parliamentary procedure site at Leeds University
- Works by the Parliament of the United Kingdom at Project Gutenberg