Government and Politics
The History of British Government, Parliament and Politics and its wider impact on the history of Britain.
Parliament will train you to talk and above all other things to hear with patience unlimited quantities of foolish talk.
The Glorious Revolution of 1688, in which the King of England King James II was overthrown, was the beginning of a new era of politics. William of Orange agreed to work in a co-operative way with Parliament that brought to an end the idea of the controlling authority of the monarch.
Not all Parliamentarians were in agreement with this though and two factions evolved. The Tories and the Whigs.
The Tories were for Royalty and keeping things as they were, the Whigs for giving more power to Parliament and wanted reform.
The single British Parliament grew out of the Act of Union in 1707 when the assemblies of England and Scotland were dissolved. The power of Parliament increased and the parliamentary party system began to emerge.
The opposition between the Whigs and the Tories was to become the basis on which Parliamentary debate would be enacted and out of which would emerge our political leaders. You can find a list of British prime ministers here and discover more about who these leaders were by clicking on the link.
Men and women's suffrage changed the face of British society. It was hard fought for by our ancestors and a long time coming.
The emergence of the Labour Party in 1900, born out of the trade union movement of the late C19th and out of the social reforming agencies that found voice during the Industrial Revolution, took Britain on a new path of politics.
By Amanda Moore INW |
By HLB |
|1170||English Barons seized land in Ireland.|
|1215||King John signs the Magna Carta||Major events.|
|1216||The barons no longer have faith in the charter and intend to depose King John.|
|1236||Earliest use of the term Parliament, referring to the Great Council|
|1258||At a Parliament at Oxford, the nobles drafted the "Provisions of Oxford" which calls for regular Parliaments with representatives from the counties|
|1265||Simon de Montfort, in rebellion against Henry III, summoned a Parliament which included for the first time representatives of both the counties and towns|
|1275||First Statute of Westminster|
|1278||Statute of Gloucester|
|1290||Expulsion of the Jews|
|1295||Model Parliament was made up of nobles and bishops, and two representatives for each county and for each town - the model for future Parliaments.|
|1327||From this date representatives of the counties (knights of the shire) and of the towns (burgesses) were always summoned together to Parliament|
|1332||Knights of the shire and burgesses met together and were called the Commons.|
|1341||The Commons met separately from the Upper House for the first time|
|1350||During the 1300's virtually all land in Ireland under English control.|
|1376||In the Good Parliament the Commons, led for the first time by an elected Speaker, prosecuted, or impeached, before the lords some of the king's advisors|
|1407||The Commons successfully asserted its right that it should originate all new taxes in its own House|
|1414||Henry V acknowledged that the approval and consultation of both Houses was necessary to make new laws|
|1490||By the end of the fifteenth century English control was confined to a small area around Dublin. This area was known as the Pale. Those beyond the Pale were considered barbarians.|
|1523||peaker of the Commons Sir Thomas More made the first known request for freedom of speech in Parliament|
|1529 - 36||The Reformation Parliament passed legislation which would impact every one of the population, touching on every aspect of their lives and made King in Parliament the sovereign law-maker in the realm.|
|1541||Henry VIII forced Ireland’s government to declare him King of Ireland. Once declared King, Henry began to introduce new laws that increased English control of Ireland.|
|1547||The Commons Journal was established. The Clerk of the Commons started keeping records of proceedings.|
|1590||Earl of Kildare led a series of revolts in Ulster protesting against English rule in Ireland.|
|1625||Parliament granted the new king customs duties for one year only, instead of for life|
|1628||Charles I assented to the Commons' Petition of Right|
|1641||Ulster Rebellion. The Irish in Ulster rebelled against English rule. The violence of the rebellion saw the deaths of many. In England it was alleged that the Catholics had massacred Protestants and many people wanted revenge.|
|1649||Massacre of Drogheda. Oliver Cromwell took an army to Ireland determined to put an end to Irish revolts against English rule. He massacred a large number of Catholics at Drogheda as ‘revenge’ for the alleged massacre of Protestants in 1641.|
|1688||The Glorious Revolution. The British invited William of Orange to come take the throne of England and Scotland.|
|1690||Battle of the Boyne. William’s army defeated James II at this battle fought on the river Boyne in the North East of Ireland. Many Ulster Protestants fought with William and they became known as Orangemen.|
|1695 - 1728||Penal Laws. These were a series of laws passed against Catholics in Ireland.|
|1713||The Treaty of Utrecht|
|1801||This act abolished the Irish parliament and formally united Ireland and Great Britain to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland|
|1832||The Representation of the People Act.|
|1832||Mary Smith, from Yorkshire, petitions Henry Hunt MP that she and other spinsters should ‘have a voice in the election of Members of Parliament.|
|1866||John Stuart Mill MP presents the first mass women’s suffrage petition to the House of Commons.|
|1867||Manchester National Society for Women's Suffrage (MNSWS) is formed, alongside many other societies in different cities across Britain.|
|1870||The Married Women's Property Act.|
|1885||The Redistribution Act saw boundaries redrawn to produce equal electoral districts.|
|1886||First Home Rule Bill for Ireland, sets out amongst other things a separate parliament and government should be set up in Dublin.|
|1893||Second Home Rule Bill for Ireland.|
|1894||The Local Government Act is passed, which allows married and single women to vote in elections for county and borough councils.|
|1897||The National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) is formed, uniting 17 societies.|
|1900 Jan||Battles of Ladysmith and Spion Kop||Boer War
|1900||Prince of Wales Attempted Assassination by Anarchist in Brussels 1900||Government
Edward VII Prince of Wales
|1900 May 17th||Relief of Mafeking Relieved 1900|
On the 216th day of the siege the British forces defending Mafeking under the leadership of Colonel Baden Powell, founder of the Scouts Movement were relieved by Colonel mason and his advanced guard. A special medal was struck and Baden Powell became a national hero.
|1900||Boxer Rebellion in China Contained and Put Down 1900/strong>|
Admiral Sir Edward Seymour was in charge of China Station during the rebellion. The rebellion was suppressed by the Chinese government led by Li Hung Chang, a fervent nationalist, who was said to empathise with the rebels he was responsible for containing.
|Boxer Rebellion China
|1900||King Humbert of Italy Assassinated by Anarchist|
The late King had been favourably disposed to Great Britain and desired to reinforce the Triple Alliance of Austria, Italy and Germany with an Anglo-Italian Entente. He took a firm lead on containing the power of the Vatican and was succeeded by his son King Victor Emmanuel III.
|1900||Labour Party founded|
|1901 Jan 1st||Australian Commonwealth inaugurated in Sydney 1901|
Lord Hopetoun was sworn in as Governor-General.
|1901 Feb 2nd||State Funeral of Queen Victoria 1901||Government
|1901 Jul 18||Earl Russell convicted of Bigamy in House of Lords 1901||House of Lords
|1901 Sept 18||King Alfred the Great's Millenary celebrated at Winchester Cathedral Hampshire||Govenment
Church and Religion
House of Wessex
|1901 Nov 09||Australian Commonwealth inaugurated in Sydney 1901|
Lord Hopetoun was sworn in as Governor-General.
|1901||King confers title Prince of Wales and Duke of Chester on his eldest surviving son|
His eldest son known as Prince Eddy had died suddenly after a short illness in 1892
|1902||Anglo-Japanese treaty Signed||Government
|1902 May 31||Peace Signed in South Africa 1902|
The 2nd Boer War was over,
War and Conflict
|1902 Jul||Salisbury Resigned and Arthur J Balfour becomes Prime Minister 1902||Government
|1902 Oct||Lord Kitchener made Commander-in-Chief India 1902||Colonies and Commonwealth
Government and Military Rule
|1902 Nov||Colonial Minister Joseph Chamberlain embarks on South African Tour||Government
|1902 Dec||British and German Fleets Seize and Blockade Venezuela||Government
|1902 Dec||National Fund started in response to profound poverty and distress in London and other cities across Britain||Social Policy
Social Change and Welfare
|1903 Jul 21||Tariff Reform league Inaugurated||Government
Trade and Industry
Economy Protectionism Taxation
|1903 Aug||Royal Commission Report reveals Mismanagement of the Boer War||Government
War and Conflict
|1903 Aug||Lord Salisbury died three times Prime Minister and four times Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs||Government
|1903 Sep||Neville Chamberlain Prime MinisterJoseph Chamberlain resigns as Colonial Secretary over tariff Reform</strong>||Government
Trade and Industry
|1903||The Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) is formed in Manchester at the home of Emmeline Pankhurst.|
|1905||The political party Sinn Fein formed.|
|1907||Qualification of Women Act is passed, allowing women to be elected onto borough and county councils and as mayor.|
|1909||People's Budget of Lloyd George sparked a Constitutional Crisis||Government
|1911||Parliamentary Act 1911||Government Law
|1918||The Representation of the People Bill is passed, allowing women over the age of 30 and men over the age of 21 to vote.|
|1919||Nancy Astor takes her seat in the Houses of Commons, as the first female MP for Britain|