House of Lords
The House of Lords known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Unlike the elected House of Commons, members of the House of Lords are appointed; the membership of the House of Lords is drawn from the peerage and is made up of Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal. The Lords Spiritual are 26 bishops in the established Church of England. Of the Lords Temporal, the majority are life peers who are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, or on the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. However, they include some hereditary peers including four dukes. Membership was once an entitlement of all hereditary peers, other than those in the peerage of Ireland, but under the House of Lords Act 1999, the right to membership was restricted to 92 hereditary peers.
Since 2008, only one of them is female. While the House of Commons has a defined number of seats membership, the number of members in the House of Lords is not fixed; the House of Lords is the only upper house of any bicameral parliament in the world to be larger than its lower house. The House of Lords scrutinises bills, it reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions. In this capacity, the House of Lords acts as a check on the House of Commons, independent from the electoral process. Bills can be introduced into the House of Commons. While members of the Lords may take on roles as government ministers, high-ranking officials such as cabinet ministers are drawn from the Commons; the House of Lords has its own support services, separate from the Commons, including the House of Lords Library. The Queen's Speech is delivered in the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament.
In addition to its role as the upper house, until the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2009, the House of Lords, through the Law Lords, acted as the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom judicial system. The House has a Church of England role, in that Church Measures must be tabled within the House by the Lords Spiritual. Today's Parliament of the United Kingdom descends, in practice, from the Parliament of England, though the Treaty of Union of 1706 and the Acts of Union that ratified the Treaty in 1707 and created a new Parliament of Great Britain to replace the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland; this new parliament was, in effect, the continuation of the Parliament of England with the addition of 45 MPs and 16 Peers to represent Scotland. The House of Lords developed from the "Great Council"; this royal council came to be composed of ecclesiastics and representatives of the counties of England and Wales. The first English Parliament is considered to be the "Model Parliament", which included archbishops, abbots, earls and representatives of the shires and boroughs of it.
The power of Parliament grew fluctuating as the strength of the monarchy grew or declined. For example, during much of the reign of Edward II, the nobility was supreme, the Crown weak, the shire and borough representatives powerless. In 1569, the authority of Parliament was for the first time recognised not by custom or royal charter, but by an authoritative statute, passed by Parliament itself. During the reign of Edward II's successor, Edward III, Parliament separated into two distinct chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords; the authority of Parliament continued to grow, during the early 15th century both Houses exercised powers to an extent not seen before. The Lords were far more powerful than the Commons because of the great influence of the great landowners and the prelates of the realm; the power of the nobility declined during the civil wars of the late 15th century, known as the Wars of the Roses. Much of the nobility was killed on the battlefield or executed for participation in the war, many aristocratic estates were lost to the Crown.
Moreover, feudalism was dying, the feudal armies controlled by the barons became obsolete. Henry VII established the supremacy of the monarch, symbolised by the "Crown Imperial"; the domination of the Sovereign continued to grow during the reigns of the Tudor monarchs in the 16th century. The Crown was at the height of its power during the reign of Henry VIII; the House of Lords remained more powerful than the House of Commons, but the Lower House continued to grow in influence, reaching a zenith in relation to the House of Lords during the middle 17th century. Conflicts between the King and the Parliament led to the English Civil War during the 1640s. In 1649, after the defeat and execution of King Charles I, the Commonwealth of England was declared, but the nation was under the overall control of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, S
William Huskisson was a British statesman and Member of Parliament for several constituencies, including Liverpool. He is known as the world's first reported railway passenger casualty as he was run over and fatally wounded by Robert Stephenson's pioneering locomotive engine Rocket. Huskisson was born at Birtsmorton Court, Worcestershire, the son of William and Elizabeth Huskisson, both members of Staffordshire families, he was one of four brothers. After their mother Elizabeth died, their father William remarried and had further children by his second wife. Huskisson was a student at Appleby Grammar School, a boarding school designed by Sir Christopher Wren on the Leicestershire/Derbyshire borders. In 1783, Huskisson was sent to Paris to live with his maternal great-uncle Dr. Richard Gem, physician to the British embassy there, he remained in Paris until 1792, his experience as an eyewitness to the prelude and beginning of the French Revolution gave him a lifelong interest in politics. Huskisson first came to public notice while still in Paris.
As a supporter of the moderate party, he became a member of the "Club of 1789," which favoured making France into a constitutional monarchy. On 29 August 1790, he delivered a speech entitled "Sur les Assignats", about the issue of assignats by the French government; this speech gave him a reputation as an expert in finance. From 1790 to 1792, the Marquess of Stafford was the British ambassador to Paris. Huskisson became a protégé of the Marquess, returned to London with him. Once in London, Huskisson gained an additional two powerful political patrons: Henry Dundas, the Home Secretary, William Pitt the Younger, the Prime Minister; because of Huskisson's fluency in French, Dundas appointed him in January 1793 to oversee the execution of the Aliens Act, which dealt with French refugees. In the discharge of his delicate duties, he manifested such ability that in 1795 he was appointed Under-Secretary at War. In the following year he entered Parliament as member for Morpeth, but for a considerable period he took scarcely any part in the debates.
In 1800 he inherited a fortune from Dr Gem. On the retirement of Pitt in 1801 he resigned office, after contesting Dover unsuccessfully he withdrew for a time into private life. Having in 1804 been chosen to represent Liskeard, he was on the restoration of the Pitt ministry appointed secretary of the treasury, holding office till the dissolution of the ministry after the death of Pitt in January 1806. After being elected for Harwich in 1807, he accepted the same office under the Duke of Portland, but he withdrew from the ministry along with Canning in 1809. In the following year he published a pamphlet on the currency system, which confirmed his reputation as the ablest financier of his time. In 1812 he was returned for Chichester; when in 1814 he re-entered the public service, it was only as First Commissioner of Woods and Forests, but his influence was from this time great in the commercial and financial legislation of the country. He took a prominent part in the debates over the Corn Laws in 1814 and 1815.
In 1821 he was a member of the committee appointed to inquire into the causes of the agricultural distress prevailing, the proposed relaxation of the Corn Laws embodied in the report was understood to have been chiefly due to his strenuous advocacy. In 1823 he was appointed President of the Board of Trade and Treasurer of the Navy, shortly afterwards he received a seat in the cabinet. In the same year he was returned for Liverpool as successor to Canning, as the only man who could reconcile the Tory merchants to a free trade policy. Among the more important legislative changes with which he was principally connected were a reform of the Navigation Acts, admitting other nations to a full equality and reciprocity of shipping duties; as a pro-planter Secretary for Colonies in 1826, he proposed the revised Consolidated Slave Law, accepted by Parliament. In 1826 after the Power-loom riots, a number of manufacturers subsequently agreed to pay a standard rate to the weavers, but on their own admission it was a "starvation" wage.
Those who stuck to the agreement found it difficult to compete with those manufacturers who did not, could therefore undercut them, prompting an appeal to William Huskisson, the President of the Board of Trade, to introduce a binding minimum wage. Huskisson's response was dismissive, expressing his view that to introduce such a measure would be "a vain and hazardous attempt to impose the authority of the law between the labourer and his employer in regulating the demand for labour and the price to be paid for it". In accordance with his suggestion Canning in 1827 introduced a measure on the corn laws proposing the adoption of a sliding scale to regulate the amount of duty. A misapprehension between Huskisson and the Duke of Wellington led to the duke proposing an amendment, the success of which caused the abandonment of the measure by the government. After the death of Canning in the same year Huskisson accepted the secretaryship of the colonies under Lord Goderich, an office which he continued to hold in the new cabinet formed by the Duke of Welling
President of the Board of Trade
The President of the Board of Trade is head of the Board of Trade. This is a committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, first established as a temporary committee of inquiry in the 17th century, that evolved into a government department with a diverse range of functions; the current holder is the Secretary of State for International Trade. The idea of a Board of Trade was first translated into action by Oliver Cromwell in 1655 when he appointed his son Richard Cromwell to head a body of Lords of the Privy Council and merchants to consider measures to promote trade. Charles II established a Council of Trade on 7 November 1660 followed by a Council of Foreign Plantations on 1 December that year; the two were united on 16 September 1672 as the Board of Plantations. After the Board was re-established in 1696, there were 15 members of the Board - the 7 Great Officers of State, 8 unofficial members, who did the majority of the work; the senior unofficial member of the board was the President of the Board known as the First Lord of Trade.
The board was abolished on 11 July 1782, but a Committee of the Privy Council was established on 5 March 1784 for the same purposes. On 23 August 1786 a new Committee was set up, more focused on commercial functions than the previous boards of trade. At first the President of the Board of Trade only sat in the Cabinet, but from the early 19th century it was a cabinet-level position
Irish nationalism is a nationalist ideology which asserts that the Irish people are a nation and espouses the creation of a sovereign Irish nation-state on the island of Ireland. It grew more potent during the period in which the whole of Ireland was part of United Kingdom, which lead to most of the island seceding from the UK in 1921. Politically, Irish nationalism gave way to many factions which created conflict violent, throughout the island; the chief division affecting nationalism in Ireland was religious. The majority of the island's population was Roman Catholic, the part that seceded, but a portion of the northern part has a Protestant majority that elected to stay a part of the United Kingdom. Since the partition of Ireland, the term Irish nationalism refers to support for the island's unification. Irish nationalists assert. Irish nationalism speaks to celebration of the culture of Ireland the Irish language, literature and sports. Irish nationalism is regarded as having emerged following the Renaissance revival of the concept of the patria and the religious struggle between the ideology of the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation.
At this early stage in the 16th century, Irish nationalism represented an ideal of the native Gaelic Irish and the Old English banding together in common cause, under the banner of Catholicism and Irish civic identity, hoping to protect their land and interests from the New English Protestant forces sponsored by England. This vision sought to overcome the old ethnic divide between Gaeil and Gaill, a feature of Irish life since the 12th century. Protestantism in England introduced a religious element to the 16th century Tudor conquest of Ireland, as many of the native Gaels and Hiberno-Normans remained Catholic; the Plantations of Ireland dispossessed many native Catholic landowners in favour of Protestant settlers from England and Scotland. In addition, the Plantation of Ulster, begun in 1609, "planted" a sizeable population of English and Scottish Protestant settlers into the north of Ireland. Irish aristocrats waged many campaigns against the English presence. A prime example is the rebellion of Hugh O'Neill which became known as the Nine Years War of 1594–1603, which aimed to expel the English and make Ireland a Spanish protectorate.
A more significant movement came in the 1640s, after the Irish Rebellion of 1641, when a coalition of Gaelic Irish and Old English Catholics set up a de facto independent Irish state to fight in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The Confederate Catholics of Ireland known as the Confederation of Kilkenny, emphasised the idea of Ireland as a Kingdom independent from England, albeit under the same monarch, they demanded autonomy for the Irish Parliament, full rights for Catholics and an end to the confiscation of Catholic-owned land. The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland destroyed the Confederate cause and resulted in the permanent dispossession of the old Catholic landowning class. A similar Irish Catholic monarchist movement emerged in the 1680s and 1690s, when Irish Catholic Jacobites supported James II after his deposition in England in the Glorious Revolution of 1688–1689; the Jacobites demanded that Irish Catholics have a majority in an autonomous Irish Parliament, the restoration of confiscated Catholic land, an Irish-born Lord Deputy of Ireland.
To the Confederates of the 1640s, the Jacobites were conscious of representing the "Irish nation", but were not separatists and represented the interests of the landed class as opposed to all the Irish people. Like the Confederates, they suffered defeat, in the Williamite War in Ireland. Thereafter, the English Protestant Ascendancy dominated Irish government and landholding; the Penal Laws discriminated against non-Anglicans. This coupling of religious and ethnic identity – principally Roman Catholic and Gaelic – as well as a consciousness of dispossession and defeat at the hands of British and Protestant forces, became enduring features of Irish nationalism. However, the Irish Catholic movements of the 16th century were invariably led by a small landed and clerical elite. Professor Kevin Whelan has traced the emergence of the modern Catholic-nationalist identity that formed in 1760–1830. Irish historian Marc Caball, on the other hand, claims that "early modern Irish nationalism" began to be established after the Flight of the Earls, based on the concepts of "the indivisibility of Gaelic cultural integrity, territorial sovereignty, the interlinking of Gaelic identity with profession of the Roman Catholic faith".
The Protestant Parliament of Ireland of the eighteenth century called for more autonomy from the British Parliament – the repeal of Poynings' Law, which allowed the latter to legislate for Ireland. They were supported by popular sentiment that came from the various publications of William Molyneux about Irish constitutional independence. Parliamentarians who wanted more self-government formed the Irish Patriot Party, led by Henry Grattan, who achieved substantial legislative independence in 1782–83. Grattan and radical elements of the'Irish Whig' party campaigned in the 1790s for Catholic political equality and a reform of electoral rights, he wanted useful links with Britain to remain, best understood by his comment:'The channel forbids union. Grattan's movement was notable for being both inclusive and nationalist as
William Pitt the Younger
William Pitt the Younger was a prominent British Tory statesman of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. He became the youngest UK Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24, he left office in 1801, but served as Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer for most of his time as Prime Minister, he is known as "the Younger" to distinguish him from his father, William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, called William Pitt the Elder or "Chatham", who had served as Prime Minister. The younger Pitt's prime ministerial tenure, which came during the reign of George III, was dominated by major events in Europe, including the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Pitt, although referred to as a Tory, or "new Tory", called himself an "independent Whig" and was opposed to the development of a strict partisan political system, he led Britain in the great wars against Napoleon. Pitt was an outstanding administrator who worked for efficiency and reform, bringing in a new generation of outstanding administrators.
He cracked down on radicalism. To engage the threat of Irish support for France, he engineered the Acts of Union 1800 and tried to get Catholic emancipation as part of the Union, he created the "new Toryism", which revived the Tory Party and enabled it to stay in power for the next quarter-century. The historian Asa Briggs argues that his personality did not endear itself to the British mind, for Pitt was too solitary and too colourless, too exuded superiority, his greatness came in the war with France. Pitt reacted to become what Lord Minto called "the Atlas of our reeling globe", his integrity and industry and his role as defender of the threatened nation allowed him to inspire and access all the national reserves of strength. William Wilberforce said that, "For personal purity, disinterestedness and love of this country, I have never known his equal." Historian Charles Petrie concludes that he was one of the greatest prime ministers "if on no other ground than that he enabled the country to pass from the old order to the new without any violent upheaval...
He understood the new Britain." For this he is ranked amongst British Prime Ministers. William Pitt, second son of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, was born at Hayes Place in the village of Hayes, Kent. Pitt was from a political family on both sides, his mother, Hester Grenville, was sister to former prime minister George Grenville. According to biographer John Ehrman, Pitt inherited brilliance and dynamism from his father's line, a determined, methodical nature from the Grenvilles. Suffering from occasional poor health as a boy, he was educated at home by the Reverend Edward Wilson. An intelligent child, Pitt became proficient in Latin and Greek. In 1773, aged fourteen, he attended Pembroke College, where he studied political philosophy, mathematics, trigonometry and history. At Cambridge, Pitt was tutored by George Pretyman. Pitt appointed Pretyman Bishop of Lincoln Winchester and drew upon his advice throughout his political career. While at Cambridge, he befriended the young William Wilberforce, who became a lifelong friend and political ally in Parliament.
Pitt tended to socialise only with fellow students and others known to him venturing outside the university grounds. Yet he was described as friendly. According to Wilberforce, Pitt had an exceptional wit along with an endearingly gentle sense of humour: "no man... indulged more or in that playful facetiousness which gratifies all without wounding any." In 1776, plagued by poor health, took advantage of a little-used privilege available only to the sons of noblemen, chose to graduate without having to pass examinations. Pitt's father, who had by been raised to the peerage as Earl of Chatham, died in 1778; as a younger son, Pitt the Younger received a small inheritance. He received legal education at Lincoln's Inn and was called to the bar in the summer of 1780. During the general elections of September 1780, Pitt, at the age of 21, contested the University of Cambridge seat, but lost. Still intent on entering Parliament, with the help of his university comrade, Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland, secured the patronage of James Lowther.
Lowther controlled the pocket borough of Appleby. Pitt's entry into parliament is somewhat ironic as he railed against the same pocket and rotten boroughs that had given him his seat. In Parliament, the youthful Pitt cast aside his tendency to be withdrawn in public, emerging as a noted debater right from his maiden speech. Pitt aligned himself with prominent Whigs such as Charles James Fox. With the Whigs, Pitt denounced the continuation of the American War of Independence, as his father had. Instead he proposed that the prime minister, Lord North, make peace with the rebellious American colonies. Pitt supported parliamentary reform measures, including a proposal that would have checked electoral corruption, he renewed his friendship with William Wilberforce, now MP for Hull, with whom he met in the gallery of the House of Commons. After Lord North's ministry collapsed in 1782, the Whig Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham was appointed prime minister. Pitt was offered the minor post of vice-treasurer of Ireland, but he refused, considering the post overly subordinate.
Lord Rockingham died only three months after coming to power. Many
In English church history, a Nonconformist was a Protestant who did not "conform" to the governance and usages of the established Church of England. Broad use of the term was precipitated after the Restoration of the British monarchy in 1660, when the Act of Uniformity 1662 re-established the opponents of reform within the Church of England. By the late 19th century the term included the Reformed Christians, plus the Baptists and Methodists; the English Dissenters such as the Puritans who violated the Act of Uniformity 1559—typically by practising radical, sometimes separatist, dissent—were retrospectively labelled as Nonconformists. By law and social custom, Nonconformists were restricted from many spheres of public life—not least, from access to public office, civil service careers, or degrees at university—and were referred to as suffering from civil disabilities. In England and Wales in the late 19th century the new terms "free churchman" and "Free Church" started to replace "dissenter" or "Nonconformist".
One influential Nonconformist minister was Matthew Henry, who beginning in 1710 published his multi-volume Commentary, still used and available in the 21st century. Isaac Watts is an recognized Nonconformist minister whose hymns are still sung by Christians worldwide; the Act of Uniformity of 1662 required churchmen to use all rites and ceremonies as prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. It required episcopal ordination of all ministers of the Church of England—a pronouncement most odious to the Puritans, the faction of the church which had come to dominance during the English Civil War and the Interregnum. Nearly 2,000 clergymen were "ejected" from the established church for refusing to comply with the provisions of the act, an event referred to as the Great Ejection; the Great Ejection created an abiding public consciousness of non-conformity. Thereafter, a Nonconformist was any English subject belonging to a non-Anglican church or a non-Christian religion. More broadly, any person who advocated religious liberty was called out as Nonconformist.
The strict religious tests embodied in the laws of the Clarendon code and other penal laws excluded a substantial section of English society from public affairs and benefits, including certification of university degrees, for well more than a century and a half. Culturally, in England and Wales, discrimination against Nonconformists endured longer. Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Calvinists, other "reformed" groups and less organized sects were identified as Nonconformists at the time of the 1662 Act of Uniformity. Following the act, other groups, including Methodists, Quakers, Plymouth Brethren, the English Moravians were labelled as Nonconformists as they became organized; the term dissenter came into particular use after the Act of Toleration, which exempted those Nonconformists who had taken oaths of allegiance from being penalized for certain acts, such as for non-attendance to Church of England services. A religious census in 1851 revealed Nonconformist comprised about half that of the people who attended church services on Sundays.
In the larger manufacturing areas, Nonconformists outnumbered members of the Church of England. In Wales in 1850, Nonconformist chapel attendance outnumbered Anglican church attendance, they were based in the fast-growing upwardly mobile urban middle class. Historians distinguish two categories of Dissenters, or Nonconformists, in addition to the evangelicals or "Low Church" element in the Church of England. "Old Dissenters", dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, included Baptists, Congregationalists, Quakers and Presbyterians outside Scotland. "New Dissenters" emerged in the 18th century and were Methodists. The "Nonconformist Conscience" was their moral sensibility which they tried to implement in British politics; the "Nonconformist conscience" of the Old group emphasized religious freedom and equality, pursuit of justice, opposition to discrimination and coercion. The New Dissenters stressed personal morality issues, including sexuality, family values, Sabbath-keeping. Both factions were politically active, but until mid-19th century the Old group supported Whigs and Liberals in politics, while the New—like most Anglicans—generally supported Conservatives.
In the late 19th the New Dissenters switched to the Liberal Party. The result was a merging of the two groups, strengthening their great weight as a political pressure group, they joined together on new issues regarding schools and temperance. By 1914 the linkage was weakening and by the 1920s it was dead. Nonconformists in the 18th and 19th century claimed a devotion to hard work, temperance and upward mobility, with which historians today agree. A major Unitarian magazine, the Christian Monthly Repository asserted in 1827: Throughout England a great part of the more active members of society, who have the most intercourse with the people have the most influence over them, are Protestant Dissenters; these are manufacturers and substantial tradesman, or persons who are in the enjoyment of a competency realized by trade and manufacturers, gentlemen of the professions of law and physic, agriculturalists, of that class who live upon their own freehold. The virtues of temperance, frugality and integrity promoted by religious Nonconformity...assist the temporal prosperity of these descriptions of persons, as they tend to lift others to the same rank in society.
The emerging middle-class norm for women was separate spheres, whereby women avoid the public sp
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, domestically as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, the House of Commons; the two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London. The House of Lords includes two different types of members: the Lords Spiritual, consisting of the most senior bishops of the Church of England, the Lords Temporal, consisting of life peers, appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister, of 92 hereditary peers, sitting either by virtue of holding a royal office, or by being elected by their fellow hereditary peers.
Prior to the opening of the Supreme Court in October 2009, the House of Lords performed a judicial role through the Law Lords. The House of Commons is an elected chamber with elections to 650 single member constituencies held at least every five years under the first-past-the-post system; the two Houses meet in separate chambers in the Palace of Westminster in London. By constitutional convention, all government ministers, including the Prime Minister, are members of the House of Commons or, less the House of Lords and are thereby accountable to the respective branches of the legislature. Most cabinet ministers are from the Commons, whilst junior ministers can be from either House. However, the Leader of the House of Lords must be a peer; the Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Treaty of Union by Acts of Union passed by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, both Acts of Union stating, "That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same Parliament to be styled The Parliament of Great Britain".
At the start of the 19th century, Parliament was further enlarged by Acts of Union ratified by the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland that abolished the latter and added 100 Irish MPs and 32 Lords to the former to create the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 formally amended the name to the "Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", five years after the secession of the Irish Free State in 1922. With the global expansion of the British Empire, the UK Parliament has shaped the political systems of many countries as ex-colonies and so it has been called the "Mother of Parliaments". However, John Bright – who coined the epithet – used it in reference to the political culture of "England" rather than just the parliamentary system. In theory, the UK's supreme legislative power is vested in the Crown-in-Parliament. However, the Crown acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the powers of the House of Lords are limited to only delaying legislation.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was created on 1 January 1801, by the merger of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland under the Acts of Union 1800. The principle of ministerial responsibility to the lower House did not develop until the 19th century—the House of Lords was superior to the House of Commons both in theory and in practice. Members of the House of Commons were elected in an antiquated electoral system, under which constituencies of vastly different sizes existed. Thus, the borough of Old Sarum, with seven voters, could elect two members, as could the borough of Dunwich, which had completely disappeared into the sea due to land erosion. Many small constituencies, known as pocket or rotten boroughs, were controlled by members of the House of Lords, who could ensure the election of their relatives or supporters. During the reforms of the 19th century, beginning with the Reform Act 1832, the electoral system for the House of Commons was progressively regularised.
No longer dependent on the Lords for their seats, MPs grew more assertive. The supremacy of the British House of Commons was reaffirmed in the early 20th century. In 1909, the Commons passed the so-called "People's Budget", which made numerous changes to the taxation system which were detrimental to wealthy landowners; the House of Lords, which consisted of powerful landowners, rejected the Budget. On the basis of the Budget's popularity and the Lords' consequent unpopularity, the Liberal Party narrowly won two general elections in 1910. Using the result as a mandate, the Liberal Prime Minister, Herbert Henry Asquith, introduced the Parliament Bill, which sought to restrict the powers of the House of Lords; when the Lords refused to pass the bill, Asquith countered with a promise extracted from the King in secret before the second general election of 1910 and requested the creation of several hundred Liberal peers, so as to erase the Conservative majority in the House of Lords. In the face of such a threat, the House of Lords narrowly passed the bill.
The Parliament Act 1911, as it became, prevented the Lords from blocking a money bill, allowed them to delay any other bill for a maximum of three sessions, after which it could become law over their objections. However, regardless of the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949, t