Identities Ghazal Naimi
House of Commons:
Lower hose of the Parliament of UK
Meets in the Palace of Westminster
Democratically elected body of 650 members of parliament (MPs)
o Members are elected to represent constituencies by first-past-
the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is
Relationship with gov‟t:
o The prime minister must maintain the support of the House of
If prime minister fails to do so, the Monarch appoints
the person who has the support of the House—normally
the leader of the largest party in the Commons.
Prime minister is always a member of the House of
When a motion of no confidence is passed, the prime
minister is obliged to resign or let another MP request
the dissolution of Parliament.
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
First Lord of the Treasury
Minister for the Civil Service
Leader of the Conservative Party
Represents Witney as its MP.
In the May 6 th2010 election, the Conservatives won 307 seats in a
o After 5 days of intense negotiations, Cameron formed a
coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
Youngest British Prime Minister since the Earl of Liverpool 198 years
o Also the first to lead the first coalition government of the UK
Magna Carta: is an Angevin charter, originally issued in Latin in the year
1215. The charter required King John of England to proclaim certain
liberties and accept that his will was not arbitrary.
o For example: by explicitly accepting that no “freeman” could
be punished except through the law of the land, a right which
is still in existence today.
o First document forced onto a King of England by a group of
his subjects, the feudal barons in an attempt to limit his
powers by law and protect their privileges.
Proceeded by Charter of Liberties in 1100 in which King
Henry I had specified particular areas wherein his
powers would be limited.
o The charter was an important part of historical process that
led to the rule of constitutional law in the English-speaking
o Important in the colonization of American colonies as
England‟s legal system was used as a model for many of the
colonies as they were developing their legal systems.
o Survived to be known as “sacred text”
o It influenced the early settlers in New England, and inspired
later constitutional documents, including the United States
Westminster model: a democratic parliamentary system of government
modeled after the politics of the United Kingdom.
The term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the
Parliament of the United Kingdom.
The system is a series of procedures for operating a legislature.
Used in most commonwealth and ex-Commonwealth nations upon
being granted responsible government.
o A sovereign, or head of state—who is the normal or legal
and constitutional holder of power, holds numerous reserve
powers, but whose daily duties mainly consists of performing
For example: Queen Elizabeth II, or the Governor
General in most independent Commonwealth countries, or the presidents of many countries and state/provincial
governors in republican federal systems.
o A head of government, known as the prime minister,
premier, or first minister.
Even though the head of state appoints the head of
government, the constitutional convention is that the
majority of elected Members of Parliament must support
the person appointed.
o A de facto executive branch usually made up of members
of the legislature with the senior members of the executive in
a cabinet led by the head of the government.
These members execute executive authority on behalf
of the nominal or theoretical executive authority.
o Parliamentary opposition (a multi-party system)
o An elected legislature, is where one house is elected—
legislative members are elected by their district in the first-
[Election that is won by the candidate with more votes
than any other (s). It is common but not universal,
feature of democratic political systems with single-
member legislative districts and tends to promote two-
party competition](as opposed to countrywide rep.)
o A lower house of parliament with an ability to dismiss a
government by “withholding (or blocking) Supply”—meaning
rejecting a budget, passing a motion of no confidence
(A parliamentary motion which when passed would
demonstrate to the head of state that the elected
parliament no longer has confidence in one or more
members of the appointed government.)
Or defeating a confidence motion. The Westminster system
enables a government to be defeated or forced into a general election.
o A parliament that can be dissolved and elections called at
o Parliamentary privilege which allows the legislature to
discuss any issue deemed by itself to be relevant, without fear of consequences stemming from defamatory statements
or records thereof.
o Minutes of meetings—usually called Hansard, including
ability for the legislature to strike discussion from these
Parliamentary sovereignty: a concept in the constitutional law of some
It holds that the legislative body has absolute sovereignty
Is supreme over all other government institutions (including
executive, or judicial bodies)
The legislative body may change or repeat any previous legislation
so that it is not bound by written law (in some cases, a
constitution) or by precedent.
Parliamentary sovereignty may be contrasted with the doctrines of
separation of powers—which limits the legislature‟s scope often to
general law making, and judicial review, where laws passed by the
legislature may be declared invalid.
Welfare state: is a concept of government in which the state plays a key
role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of
Based on the principles of:
o Equality of opportunity
o Equitable distribution of wealth
o Public responsibility for those unable to avail themselves of
the minimal provisions of a good life.
The general term covers a variety of forms of economic and social
The welfare state involves a transfer of funds from the state, to the
services provided (i.e. healthcare, education) as well as directly to
The welfare state is funded through redistributionist taxation (often
referred to as a type of “mixed economy.” Marginal seats: a constituency held with a small majority in a legislative
election, generally one conducted under a single-winner voting system.
In Canada, they may be known as target ridings.
o The opposite is a safe seat.
These seats only require a small swing to change hands and
therefore are typically the focus of most campaign resources.
The concentration of money and manpower in areas where they will
make the most difference is known as targeting.
Strategies for securing swing seats:
British disease v. French disease: The British disease is the pattern of
strikes and industrial unrest in the 1970s and early 1980s supposed by
many during this time to be endemic in Britain and to weaken the British
Equality leads to democratic despotism
Popular govt becoming top down govt
• French national school
America or UK
o Not as centralized
o Bottom up govt (local → state →
Labour Party: is the centre-left political party in the UK, one of two main
British political parties along with the Conservative Party.
Founded in 1900
Overtook the Liberal Party in general elections during the early
1920s by forming minority gov‟ts under Ramsay MacDonald
The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940-1945, after which it
established a majority government under Clement Attlee. They won 258 seats in 2010 general election; the party currently
forms the Official opposition in the Parliament of the United
Labour has a minority government in the Welsh Assembly
The Labour Party is a member of the Socialist International and
Party of European Socialists.
o The current leader of the party is Ed Miliband MP.
Irish Question: was a phrase used mainly by members of the British ruling
classes from the early 19 thcentury until the 1920s.
Used to describe Irish nationalism and the calls for Irish
independence in 1800 Act of Union which joined parliaments of
Great Britain and Ireland into single governing body based in
Westminster with its usage persisting until the signing of the Anglo-
Irish Treaty in 1921.
The Irish question affected British politics much the way that the
nationalities problem affected Austria.
o Normal British domestic issues could not be adequately
addressed because of the political divisions created by
o The split of the Liberal party hurt the cause of further social
and political reform.
o The people who could agree about reforms could not agree on
Ireland, and Ireland seemed more important.
o Because the two traditional parties failed to deal with the
social questions, by the turn of the 20 thcentury a newly
organized Labour Party began to fill the vacuum.
Glorious Revolution of 1688: the overthrow of King James II of England
(James VII of Scotland and James II of Ireland) by a union of English
Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau.
William‟s successful invasion of England with a Dutch fleet and
army led to his ascending of the English throne as William III of
England jointly with his wife Mary II of England.
King James‟s policies of religious tolerance after 1685 met with
increasing opposition by members of leading political circles, who were troubled by the king‟s Catholicism and his close ties with
o The crisis facing the king came to a head in 1688 with the
birth of the King‟s son, James Francis Edward Stuart on June
This changed the existing line of succession by
displacing their heir presumptive, his daughter Mary, a
protestant and the wife of William of Orange, with
young James as heir apparent.
o The establishment of a Roman Catholic dynasty in the
kingdoms now seemed likely.
Some of the most influential leaders of the Tories
united with members of the opposition Whigs and set
out to resolve the crisis by inviting William of Orange to
England, which the stadtholder, who feared an Anglo-
French alliance, had indicated as a condition for a
o William crossed the North Sea and English Channel with a
large invasion fleet in Nov. 1688 and after two minor clashes
between the opposing armies, James‟s regime collapsed
(because of lack of resolve shown by the King)
Following a defeat of forces at the Battle of Reading
on Dec. 9 , James and his wife fled the nation for
By threatening to withdraw his troops, William in
Feb 1689 convinced a newly chosen Convention
Parliament to make him and his wife joint
o The Revolution permanently ended any chance of Catholicism
becoming re-established in England.
This was disastrous both socially and politically for the
Catholics were denied the right to vote and sit in
Westminster Parliament for over a century
Also denied commissions in the army And the monarch was forbidden to be
Catholic or to marry a Catholic (a
prohibition still in force).
o The Bill of Rights of 1689 has become one of the most
important documents in the political history of Britain and
never since has the monarch held absolute power.
Internationally, the Revolution was related to the War of the
Grand Alliance on mainland Europe.
o Last successful invasion of England.
Also ended all attempts by England in the Anglo-Dutch
wars of the 17 century to subdue Dutch Republic by
John Hampden first used the expression “Glorious Revolution” in
late 1689, and the British Parliament still uses this expression
Significance of Venice:
Existence of a substantial middle class
Social solidarity formed here.
Allowed poor people into office—equality between classes
Religious brotherhoods—dependence on one another.
Podestà—high officials in many Italian cities.
Commune: an intentional community of people living together, sharing
common interests, property, possessions, resources, and in some
communes, work and income.
In addition to the communal economy, consensus decision-making,
non-hierarchical structures and ecological living have become
important core principles for many communes.
Podestà: the name given to certain high officials in many Italian cities since
the Middle Ages.
The term derives from the Latin word “potestas,” meaning power. o This development of a term meaning “power” or “authority” to
be eventually the title of the person holding such power is
parallel to the development of the Islamic term “Sultan.”
Main characteristics of urban law: pg 70-80
o The revival of commerce
o Rise of merchant class
o Expansion of agriculture
o Covenant= people obey the gov‟t and the gov‟t provides….
Social contract theory/agreement
o Rise of a class of artisans, and industrial producers = MIDDLE
When you have artisans and craftsmen, it means you‟ve
started to have a division of labour meaning it‟s the
start of a middle class.
o People were able to change social classes
o Rise of cities that provided opportunities
o Slavery hardly existed
o Less feudalism= more for the individual
o Politically rulers were often able to increase their military and
wealth by chartering towns.
o Citizens were able to bear arms
Religious and legal factors
o Merchant guilds and religious brotherhoods Limited monarchy in England: (otherwise known as constitutional
monarchy) is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of
state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written,
uncodified, or blended constitution.
This form of government differs from absolute monarchy in which
an absolute monarch serves as the source of power in the state and
is not legally bound by any constitution and has the powers to
regulate his or her respective government.
Most constitutional monarchies employ a parliamentary system in
which the monarch may have strictly ceremonial duties or may
have reserve powers, depending on the constitution.
Under this kind of monarchy, there is also a prime minister who is
the head of government and exercises effective political power.
Several federal constitutional monarchies exist today.
o In these countries, each subdivision has a distinct
government, but all subdivisions share a monarch who is
head of state of the federation as a united whole.
Absolutism in France: was a political system associated with kings such as
Louis XIII and, more particularly, Louis XIV.
Absolutism or absolute monarchical rule was developing across
Europe during the 16-17 centuries.
Cardinal Richilieu was a staunch supporter of absolutism.
Absolute rule meant that the power of the monarch was unlimited
except by divine law by what was called “natural law”.
o In an absolute society, the only person who could change the
powers of the monarch was the monarch him/herself.
Very difficult to think in terms of an absolute monarch
diluting his/her own authority and power.
Absolute rule replaced a system whereby the monarch worked with
o Prior to this rule, the king of France worked with the estates.
He was still powerful, but he shared authority with
them. When this system broke down, a country could
descend into a civil war.
In a French absolute society, the king‟s word was law.
o The standing army was a symbol of an absolute monarch‟s
authority and power was based and enforced by it.
o Blah blah ..blah and blah.
Who were really the early developers? And Why?:
They‟re early developers because they were unified faster.
Made sense for large states to form—these states had the ability to
Tony Blair: is a British Labour Party politician
Served as the Prime Minister of the UK from May 2 1997- June
Member of Parliament from 1983-2007
Leader of the Labour Party from 1994-2007.
Under his leadership, the party used the phrases “New Labour” and
“New Socialism” to define its policy, and moved away from its
support of state socialism since the 1960s and created a new
version of the ethical socialism that was last pursued by Clement
Blair has criticised capitalism for its claim that wealth would trickle
Blair‟s government implemented a number of
o 1997 manifesto pledges
o Introduced the minimum wage
o Human Rights Act and Freedom of Information Act
o Carrying out devolution
o Establishing the Scottish Parliament
o The National Assembly for Wales
o The Northern Ireland Assembly His involvement in foreign and security policy, including in Northern
Ireland, where he participated in the 1998 Good Friday
Agreement—a major political development in the Northern Ireland
peace process of the 1990s (an international agreement between
the British and Irish governments).
He‟s the longest-serving Prime Minister
o The only person to have led the Labour Party to three
consecutive general election victories
o The only Labour Prime Minister to serve consecutive terms
more than one of 4 years.
Margaret Thatcher: a British politician.
Longest-serving Prime Minister of the UK. (1979-1990)
o Only woman to have ever held the post.
Nicknamed the “Iron lady”
o Which became associated with her uncompromising politics
and leadership style.
As Prime Minister, she implemented Conservative
policies that have come to be known as Thatcherism.
She used to be a research chemist before becoming a barrister
then elected MP in 1959.
In 1975, she defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership
election and became Leader of the Opposition
o As well as the first woman to lead a major political party in
After becoming PM, she introduced a series of political and
economic initiatives to reverse what she perceived to be Britain‟s
precipitous national decline.
Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasized
deregulation (of financial sector)
Vichy regime: the French government collaborated with the Axis powers
from July 1940-August 1944 during WWII.
Called itself the French State (État Français)
o Was headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain Who proclaimed the government following the 1940-
allied defeat against Axis powers…
The Vichy regime maintained some legal authority in northern zone
of France (which was occupied by German Wehrmacht)
The Vichy regime was the most powerful in the unoccupied
southern “free zone” where it‟s administrative center of Vichy was
o November 1942, the German Wehrmacht also occupied this
Pétain collaborated with the German forces in exchange for an
agreement not to divide France between the Axis powers.
o Vichy authorities aided in the rounding-up of Jews and other
Vichy military forces also actively opposed the Allies.
The legitimacy of Vichy France and Pétain‟s leadership was
challenged by CDG—who claimed to represent the legitimacy and
continuity of the French government.
o Public opinion turned against the Vichy regime and resistance
to them increased.
o Following the Allied invasion of France in July 1944, CDG
proclaimed the GPRF.
o The Vichy regime‟s leaders were put to trial by the GPRF and
a number were executed for treason, war crimes, and
complicity in the Holocaust.
Colbertism: is an economic and political doctrine of the 17 th century
Created by Jean-Baptiste Colbert
o French minister of finance under Louis XIV
Colbertism is a variant of mercantilism, and is more a collection of
economical practices than a true current of economic thought.
o Central principle is that the wealth and economy of France
should serve the state.
o State intervention was needed to secure the largest part of
o To accumulate gold, a country always had to sell more goods
abroad than it bought. Colbert sought to build a French economy that sold abroad and
Charles de Gaulle:
French general and statesmen
o Led the Free French Forces during WWII