1689 English Bill Of Rights: Ideas that influenced our founders.

1689 English Bill Of Rights: Ideas that influenced our founders.


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William III ("William of Orange") Ki...
William III (“William of Orange”) King of England, Scotland and Ireland, Stadtholder of the Netherlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The English Bill Of Rights of 1689 was passed by British Parliament. In this law rights and liberties of the people  were declared and the power of King and Queen was limited.  It also settled the  succession of King William the 3rd and Queen Mary the 2nd following the Glorious Revolution of 1688 when James the 2nd was removed from throne.

This law had a big influence on the colonies in the North and the Constitution of the United States. The most important ideas of the Articles of the English Bill of Rights are summarized below:

  • frequently summoned Parliament and free elections
  • Parliament member should have freedon of speech
  • No armies should be raised in peacetime
  • No taxed could be levied, without authority of Parliament
  • without the consent of Parliament, law should not be dispensed with, or suspended.
  • no excessive fines should be charged, nor cruel and unusual punishments allowed.

These ideas directly influenced the founding fathers of America during a time when other powerful countries such as Spain and France still had absolute monarchies.

Do you think our government would be different today without the English Bill of Rights?  I heard that some people wanted to make George Washington a King.  I think some modern Presidents would not mind being made into a king because then they would not have to worry about Congress.