United Kingdom Political and Historical notes

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Political Science
Chrystal Chang

THE UNITED KINGDOM:  Their politics remain untouched since the 17 thcentury, though reform is still occurring  Worth studying because:  It was the birthplace of industrialization, which fueled economic development  Although it has no written constitution, many nations have adopted some of their institutions  History:  Tories are conservatives  Third way: The new way that left and right have been forced to go due to coalitions that must be formed  Geography:  It’s a primarily homogeneous state. Only 5% are immigrants from former colonies  Geographic isolation provided protection from conflict in the rest of Europe  Separation ended with the completion of the Channel Tunnel  Development  Development, compared to the rest of the world, has been gradual and peaceful  Many invasions at the beginning of the country’s history  Common Law: System of precedent and local costumes rather than written law.  Normans took over and created feudalism in 1066 o Created system of obligation, although undemocratic  Magna Carta: 1216 document that stated the king was subject to the same law and limited power of the British crown. o Cause = no royal absolutism  Due to the divide of the church and state, Parliament gained additional power, while the church suffered a loss of it.  English Civil Was was caused by supporters of James I vs. supporters of the parliament. James I wanted to raise taxes without asking parliament and this created a crisis. o Parliament won. James I was executed.  From 1649-60, England operated under Oliver Cromwell as a republic since there was no monarch. o Ruling became a dictatorship  The glorious revolution turned England into a constitutional monarchy  Overseas expansion in 16 thcentury o By the early 20 thcentury the empire had dimished dramatically  The Industrial Revolution and Democratization:  It was the first to industrialize  Rise of a prosperous middle class who was politically active led to democratization  Being the 1 also brought repercussions and made it experience economic decline  Originally, the parliament was meant for the elite: o The House of Lords was the upper house, representing the aristocracy o The House of Commons was the lower house, and it represented the lower aristocracy and the merchant class  Two factors that made parliament stronger and the crown weaker: o 1. Political Parties: The Whigs vs. the Tories o 2. Suffrage: By 1921 everyone could vote  Labor party initiated the welfare state  Hung Parliament: Parliament in which no party holds the majority of seats. o Led to coalitions POLITICAL REGIME  The Majoritarian politics allows the majority of parliament to have unchecked power  Tradition keeps the
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