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Today’s Lecture:

The Relevance of England

Number:

4

Lecture Organization: • Class Announcements • The Dark Ages • Absolute Monarchy • The Birth of Rights • Rise of Parliament

• English Revolution

Class Announcements

Course Webpage -- sent the course page to you. It has everything you need for the course Class Participation -- Please don’t forget to hand in your comments at the end of the day.

Class Announcements

Questions?

Part I: The Medieval Political Order

England and the Dark Ages
time period -- first half of the lecture: from the time of the fall of Rome (about 400 A.D.) through about 1500. medieval political order -- part II of the lecture is around the 1600s. the beginning of the new age

England and the Dark Ages
Regime Ideology -- Every society has an ideology that rationalizes its political system -- Medieval Europe also had an ideology that rationalized why people with a special bloodline should rule -- what is interesting about it, is that it is based fundamentally upon a kind of superstition.

England and the Dark Ages
Divine Right -- Divine Right suggested that the King was God’s chosen agent on earth to be the Landlord of that particular country. Great Chain of Being -- Everything has its place in nature -- God has ordained a celestial and natural order to the universe and to the entire human agency -- The closer you are to God, the higher you are in the rank.

England and the Dark Ages
Chains of Being -- Basic idea: God had put everything in its place

1. God

2. Angels
3. Man 4. Animals 5. Plants 6. Stones

1. God England and 2. Angels Ages the Dark
seraphim cherubim

Chains of Being

3. Man
peasant

king -- Basic idea: God had put everything in its place

-- That within this preordained hierarchy, there were sub 4. Animals hierarchies.
Lion Cockroach (snake?)

5. Plants
Mighty Oak clover? Moss?

6. Stones
Regal diamond ?? Gravel ??

England and the Dark Ages
Chains of Being -- Basic idea: God had put everything in its place

-- That within this preordained hierarchy, there were sub
hierarchies.

-- The complete human chain is as follows …

illustration

Human Chain
Monarchy Royal Blood -King, 3rd Peers 2nd and Queens, Princes, The Greatsons Princesses, etc. Primogeniture High Titles; Closest to God Immense Lands on Earth Lower inheritance; Less land Barons of the God’s Chosen Landlord Dukes and of the Country countryside Laborers, craftsmen, Justice of the Peace “smiths,” peasant Command a regiment farmers Court Jobs at No jobs, no place to live. “London scum”

Aristocracy
Gentry Peasants, Serfs City-dwelling drunks

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Copyright, Sean Wlson. 2007

13

England and the Dark Ages
Chains of Being -- Each group within the human chain is further subject to rank
Monarchy:
• King • Queen • Prince • Princess

Nobility:
• Duke • Marquis • Earls • Count • Viscount

Gentry:
• Knights • Esquires • Gentlemen

Peasants/ Serfs: Lawyers • Yeoman farmers sometimes use • Husbandmen “esquire” by their name • Cottagers

Gentlemen do not do not work their lands. This is a mark Big farmers, but they work of • Barons Small farmer no Rented that social status with starts with their land. (mention Pride and farm attached gentlemen and goes all the Notice also – by order of title! Prejudice) way up

England and the Dark Ages
Primogeniture -- The mythology that suggested the first born were preordained to be naturally better.

illustration

The Domination of Landed Elites
• Shires • Manor Estate • Duties of the Landlord Hypothetical Territory • Duties of the Tenant • Feudalism (hard and soft) Lord’s • Affinities! Hampshire A Pembroke B “Muster the Rohirrim!” Manor Estate Y Y
c
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h

C C
c c c c h

D
Servant High Ground Husbandmen Cottagers Quarters, a Mill The Church Yeomen or Oven. Farmers
16

Copyright, Sean Wlson. 2007

Absolute Monarchy

Conceptualizing -- To understand the theory of absolute monarchy, one must understand a few things: Government as a personification

-- The government is a person
-- you fight for your king against enemies like you would for your family -- there is no basic difference between king and country. (we see a difference today, but in medieval times there is not much of a difference. These things are a unity)

Absolute Monarchy
Conceptualizing -- To understand the theory of absolute monarchy, one must understand a few things: Subjects, not citizens

-- There are no citizens; there are only subjects
-- There is a parent-child relationship between country (king) and citizen (subject). -- liberty as we know it is not really invented yet

Absolute Monarchy
Conceptualizing -- To understand the theory of absolute monarchy, one must understand a few things: No branches of government

-- The king, in theory, performs the executive, judicial and legislative functions.
-- if others help, it is under an agency theory

Absolute Monarchy
Conceptualizing No branches of government Power over statutes

Question:

Given what I have just said, -- Since the days of Rome (and before), the law of Kings how is it that statutes are and monarchs have been formally articulated (written passed? Who handles that? down).
Examples: • Roman “Twelve Tables” • Code of Hammurabi (1700 BC)

(Ten Commandments flavor).
• penalty for perjury is death • if you steal, your fingers are cut off

Absolute Monarchy
Conceptualizing No branches of government Power over statutes -- over time, however, kings found that for political reasons they needed a special kind of decree or commandment. -- this was known as the statute. -- here is how it worked:

Absolute Monarchy
Conceptualizing No branches of government Power over statutes • King would write down and place his signature to important laws. • Sometimes, for political purposes, he would have both Question: himself and the nobility sign extremely important pronouncements so that Doesappeared more powerful they stating the law (e.g., taxes, war)

enhance or inhibit the King’s • (Parliaments had to be convened for this purpose) power?

Dispensing Power:

The King can dispense with the law by mere statute
T-2 Timeline

T-1

King Rooney

King Belichick

Must King Belichick follow King Rooney’s Law?

Absolute Monarchy
Caveat -- Although medieval Kings were in theory (in ideology) absolute, in truth they were never really “absolute.”
Strategic environment

-- Operated within limited environments. The nobility and aristocrats had power, too. If you turned too many of them against you, you could be in trouble. -- had to be strategic to preserve power (Machiavellian) -- All that the King really was, was the strongest aristocrat (strongest peer). Analogy: crowned checker

Part II: The Dawn of the Enlightenment

The Birth of Rights

Introduction -- The world is going to awaken from its medieval political order … How does it start?

illustration

The Birth of Rights
Supported the concept. Reforms Monarchy; but had a really interesting idea. The universe is operated by physical The King is subject to Society was formed through laws the contract should rule The skillful a social contract! We don’t need a Pope It is not can be The Kingthe leaders well to select governed by Implication: not the A removed by the parties legal relationship! superstition birthed! to the contract if he Kicker: some is not to be The world misbehavesthings cannot be feared; it is to be sold! understood What is misbehavior? Inalienable Rights! If the universe has Violating the inalienable King is above not politics rules, rights! why the contract and presides over it as well?
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Sir Isaac Newton Niccolo Machiavelli Martin Luther and John Calvin

Thomas Hobbes
John Locke

Copyright, Sean Wlson. 2007

27

The Birth of Rights

The protestant reformation -- English-Speaking Bibles --“Presbyters” -- local church committees taking control -- Emergence of radical religious sects -- Democratizing religion versus democratizing society

The Rise of Parliament
The Great Nobility

-- A statute had the signature of both the King and the peers. It was thought to be the most important kind of enactment.

The Rise of Parliament
The Great Nobility -- There are three basic reasons why the King would need to call parliament: taxes -- the peerage would be paying much of that, and so would their clientele -- the peerage had affinities (at least for a while) -- you need the peerage to enforce the law in the shire (countryside); hence, they fulfilled a sort of bureaucratic function

war

“local administration”

The Rise of Parliament
Custom and Tradition -- As each King would call a parliament to approve certain issues (taxes, war), people became used to this practice -- it became traditional and customary to say that: • no taxes unless parliament approves
The Final Straw:

• no war unless parliament approves Parliament becomes permanent! Every statute must have -- as parliament is used more and more, this grows: parliament’s approval! • nothing big unless parliament approves
Note the corollary: The King can only proclaim “regular” things on his own?

The Statute

The Rise of Parliament
The Rise of the Gentry -- I’ve left out an extremely important point! -- By the time Parliament is permanent, it is no longer composed of just the highest aristocrats. It is composed of two things The House of Lords The House of Commons -- highest aristocrats

-- the gentry (middle-level aristocrats)

The Rise of Parliament
The Rise of the Gentry -- The English gentry rose in power because of three things: • the radical intellectual ideas (liberty and reformation) • the invention of finance capitalism

• the social erosion of the chain of being
let’s take a closer look …

The Rise of Parliament
The Rise of the Gentry Finance Capitalism -- Finance capitalism is the use of banks, stock trading, insurance, bonds, etc.

-- before the financing system was created, capitalism was only like the “farmer’s market” (local shops)
-- now, the new financial institutions provided a new way to make money (mortgages, investments, loans, etc).

-- it leads to a completely different economic culture: (corporations, industrialization, manufacturing plants, urbanization, etc.)

The Rise of Parliament
The Rise of the Gentry Finance Capitalism

social mobility!

-- Finance capitalism is the useViolations of the Chain of Being! of banks, stock trading, 1. Different way to become insurance, bonds, etc. Some middle level people rich. have more money and was -- before the financing system was created, capitalism are only 2. You don’t have to be a firstlike the “farmer’s market” (local more powerful than their shops) born Barron of the land; social betters (Lords). -- now, the new financial institutions provided a new way to 3. If you corner a market, you make money (mortgages, investments, loans, etc).
can be a tycoon (a Bill -- itGates) to a completely different economic culture: leads

(corporations, industrialization, manufacturing plants, urbanization, etc.)

The English Revolution
Intro -- England goes through a period of immense cultural transformation in 1600s -- Civil war breaks out in 1642. -- The English behead their King in 1649 -- There is turmoil over what kind of government should exist now that the monarch has been defeated and executed.

The English Revolution
Middle class revolution -- the English revolution was a middle class revolution

-- By and large, the gentry are the ones who did it
-- Conservative Lords are therefore also on the “outs.” This is largely an event whereby middle-class, liberal-thinking gentry rise up and take control over English politics

The English Revolution
constitutional monarchy -- in 1688, they decide to do something very interesting: they create something called a “constitutional monarchy” -- also called “limited monarchy” -- This is a system where there is a King, but where the King has to share power with parliament.

The English Revolution
constitutional monarchy -- it works like this

(a) Parliament names the King (William and Mary)
(b) the King is subject to “the law” (e.g., no dispensing power) (c) Parliament is permanent institution that passes the laws (d) The (English) people have some basic rights that cannot be infringed by the King (e) there are elections where middle-class people can meaningfully participate in the lower house of government

The English Revolution
constitutional monarchy (f) parliament has the right to remove the monarch if he/she violates the liberty of the people (John Locke) -- but the King retains certain powers, such as: (a) commander in chief (b) an absolute veto (c) power to “prorogue” (d) spoils and patronage Compare: if we had an hereditary (e) life-tenured job
presidency with an absolute veto (can’t override). Example: Kennedys

The English Revolution
English Bill of Rights -- When, William and Mary ascended to the throne, they agreed to abide by a declaration of English rights …

The English Revolution
English Bill of Rights -- When, Rights English Bill ofWilliam and Mary ascended to the throne, they agreed to abide by a declaration of English rights … • -- can’t tax the people without parliament’s approval • -- no detention of citizens without cause shown • -- no military in the private homes • -- limitations on when Martial law could be declared • -- King did not have the power to “suspend law” • -- No excessive bails, cruel-and-unusual punishments • -- jury trials in criminal cases (and other process)

England as the First Modern Country?
The Two Party System -- One of the interesting things that happens during and after the English revolution is that political parties form -- This happens because of the social transformation -- let’s take a look …

Social Mobility
Monarchy

Something fascinating occurs
Tory

Aristocracy
Gentry Peasants, Serfs City-dwelling drunks

Some aristocrats are loosing ground Some Gentry are gaining ground
Whig higher-level Lower level Peasants are doing peasants doing better – extreme worse Political Parties! poverty grows.

The English Revolution is a middle-class revolution
1/25/2009 Copyright, Sean Wlson. 2007 45

The Whigs --

The Tories --

1. new financial institutions 2. letting the people participate JOHN LOCKE; more in picking leaders

1. liked the old world. 2. chains of being 3. land as power

3. the sovereign was Revolutionary Writings Whig 4. were against modernity – parliament because it was against the wrong believers; elected. against the expanding the vote 4. tolerant of religious dissenters 5. they were against the new financial institutions

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Copyright, Sean Wlson. 2007

46

The Financial Revolution Completes the Glorious Revolution –
Investors became wealthy very fast, as well as government contractors whose goods were purchased with the money. There was a new investor class. It made a new class of men – moneyed men. They were not land owners. They made money out of money. These people were overwhelmingly Whig and were often dissenters. The Tories saw them as parasites. They were making money from the land tax which was going to fund the national debt. And worse, they were making money just from money. They owned no land yet they were taken into the government’s counsels. [Jonathan Swift, the famous writer, notes that “the country gentlemen are now at the mercy of the scrivener, who is a lawyer that receives half of the rents as interest and a mortgage on the whole.” These new practices seem shady and even conspiratorial. Swift writes, “Through the connivance and cunning of stockjobbers [brokers], there has been brought in such a complication of navary and cousinage, such a mystery of iniquity, and such an unintelligible jargon of terms to involve it in as were never known in any other age or country of the world.”
source – Robert Bucholz (paraphrased)

The First Modern Country? Triennial act passed in 1694: requires an election every three years at least. (But he also said that elections were held 12 times from 1689-1715). There are more elections in this period than any other period in British history. Also, there are more contested elections than ever before. Thanks to inflation, more ordinary Farmers qualified for a vote under the “40 shilling franchise.” IN the local towns, each party tried to increase its memberships voting roles by manipulating the local charter. So what would happen is that one party would win and it would go through the borough charters and add its people. The net result is that you are starting to see the expansion of the franchise. By 1722, some 330,000 males had the franchise, which is 5.8 percent of the population, which is maybe a 1/5th or a quarter of the adult male population. This is by far the largest electorate in Europe. The English were the first to extend the right to Vote and the right to say things in print to the citizenry. The right to sack a ruler who didn’t rule them properly. The rest of Europe thought they were nuts. Hence the phrase, the rights of Englishmen. You couldn’t say that same phrase about the rights of a Frenchman or a Russian. England was first.
Source – Robert Bucholz (paraphrased)

England as the First Modern Country?
England in early 1700:

(1). Permanent Parliament
(2). Central role for the House of Commons (3). Party press (Whigs and Tories)

(4). “The Rights of an Englishman”
(5). Significant amount of voting:
Voting – 1. 40 Shilling Franchise 2. 1722 – 330,000 males (1/5th of adult males) (5.8% of the population)

Monarchy Share Governing Power Each that “presidents” are Note Formalized Institution Each hasbe distinct role of Represents created or of Aristocracy going to a a class out function in creating “the the sectorNote the similarity having power Consuls and Royal in law” here – these things society? with Rome Governors Gentry are early precursors Peasants, Serfs

Royal Governance House of Lords House of Commons

CONSUL City-dwelling drunks SENATE
(C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.

Time
1/18/2007

Assembly of the Plebeians
50

England as the First Modern Country?
-- America will study England and Rome when it creates its new government -- At first, America doesn’t want to be independent of England; it wants its “English rights.” -- Much of what America invents can be traced back to Why is this relevant to England -- Of course, in some critical respects, America will go further and be more radical (as I will show you).

Question: us?


				
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