A jury trial, or trial by jury, is a lawful proceeding in which a jury makes a decision or findings of fact. It is distinguished from a bench trial in which a panel of judges makes all decisions. Jury trials are used in a significant share of serious criminal cases in all common law lawful systems, juries or lay judges have been incorporated into the legal systems of many civil law countries for criminal cases. Only the United States makes routine use of jury trials in a wide variety of non-criminal cases. Other common law legal jurisdictions use jury trials only in a select class of cases that make up a tiny share of the overall civil docket, but true civil jury trials are entirely absent elsewhere in the world; some civil law jurisdictions, have arbitration panels where non-legally trained members decide cases in select subject-matter areas relevant to the arbitration panel members' areas of expertise. The availability of a trial by jury in American jurisdictions varies; because the United States legal system separated from that of the English one at the time of the American Revolution, the types of proceedings that use juries depends on whether such cases were tried by jury under English common law at that time rather than the methods used in English courts now.
For example, at the time, English "courts of law" tried cases of torts or private law for monetary damages using juries, but "courts of equity" that tried civil cases seeking an injunction or another form of non-monetary relief did not. As a result, this practice continues in American civil laws, but in modern English law, only criminal proceedings and some inquests are to be heard by a jury; the use of jury trials, which evolved within common law systems rather than civil law systems, has had a profound impact on the nature of American civil procedure and criminal procedure rules if a bench trial is contemplated in a particular case. In general, the availability of a jury trial if properly demanded has given rise to a system in which fact finding is concentrated in a single trial rather than multiple hearings, appellate review of trial court decisions is limited. Jury trials are of far less importance in countries. Ancient Athens had a mechanism, called dikastaí, to assure that no one could select jurors for their own trial.
For normal cases, the courts were made up of dikastai of up to 500 citizens. For capital cases—those that involved death, loss of liberty, loss of civil rights, or seizure of property—the trial was before a jury of 1,001 to 1,501 dikastai. In such large juries, they rule by majority. Juries were appointed by lot. Jurists cast a ceramic disk with an axle in its middle: the axle was either hollow or solid, thus the way they voted was kept secret because the jurists would hold their disk by the axle by thumb and forefinger, thus hiding whether its axle was hollow or solid. Since Periclean times, jurists were compensated for their sitting in court, with the amount of one day's wages; the institution of trial by jury was ritually depicted by Aeschylus in the Eumenides, the third and final play of his Oresteia trilogy. In the play, the innovation is brought about by the goddess Athena, who summons twelve citizens to sit as jury; the god Apollo takes part in the trial as the advocate for the defendant Orestes and the Furies as prosecutors for the slain Clytemnestra.
In the event the jury is split six to six, Athena dictates that in such a case, the verdict should henceforth be for acquittal From the beginning of the republic and in the majority of civil cases towards the end of the empire, there were tribunals with the characteristics of the jury, the Roman judges being civilian and not professional. Capital trials were held in front of juries composed of hundreds or thousands of people in the commitias or centuries, the same as in Roman trials. Roman law provided for the yearly selection of judices, who would be responsible for resolving disputes by acting as jurors, with a praetor performing many of the duties of a judge. High government officials and their relatives were barred from acting as judices, due to conflicts of interest; those found guilty of serious crimes were barred as were gladiators for hire, who were hired to resolve disputes through trial by combat. The law was as follows: "The peregrine praetor within the next ten days after this law is passed by the people or plebs shall provide for the selection of 450 persons in this State who have or have had a knight's census... provided that he does not select a person, or has been plebeian tribune, triumvir capitalis, military tribune in any of the first four legions, or triumvir for granting and assigning lands, or, or has been in the Senate, or who has fought or shall fight as a gladiator for hire... or, condemned by the judicial process and a public trial whereby he cannot be enrolled in the Senate, or, less than thirty or more than sixty years of age, or who does not have his residence in the city of Rome or within one mile of it, or, the father, brother, or son of any above-described magistrate, or, the father, brother, or son of a person, or has been a member of the Senate, or, overseas."
A Swabian ordinance of 1562 called for the summons of jurymen, various methods were in use in Emmendingen and Oberkirch. Hauenstein's charter of 1442 secured the right to be tried in all cases by 24 fellow equals, in Friburg the jury was composed of 30 citizens and councilors; the modern jury trial was first introduced in the Rhenish provinc
No taxation without representation
"No taxation without representation" is a slogan originating during the 1700s that summarized one of 27 colonial grievances of the American colonists in the Thirteen Colonies, one of the major causes of the American Revolution. In short, many in those colonies believed that, as they were not directly represented in the distant British Parliament, any laws it passed affecting the colonists were illegal under the Bill of Rights 1689, were a denial of their rights as Englishmen; the firm belief that a government should not tax a populace unless that populace is somehow represented in the government developed in the English Civil War following the refusal of parliamentarian John Hampden to pay ship money tax. "No taxation without representation," in the context of British American Colonial taxation, appeared for the first time in the February 1768 London Magazine headline, on page 89, in the printing of Lord Camden's "Speech on the Declaratory Bill of the Sovereignty of Great Britain over the Colonies."
The English Parliament had controlled colonial trade and taxed imports and exports since 1660. By the 1760s, the Americans were being deprived of a historic right; the English Bill of Rights 1689 had forbidden the imposition of taxes without the consent of Parliament. Since the colonists had no representation in Parliament, the taxes violated the guaranteed Rights of Englishmen. Parliament contended that the colonists had virtual representation, but the idea "found little support on either side of the Atlantic"; the person who first suggested the idea appears to have been Oldmixon, an American annalist of the era of Queen Anne or George I. It was afterwards put forward with approbation by Adam Smith, advocated for a time, but afterwards rejected and opposed, by Benjamin Franklin."The eloquent 1768 Petition and Remonstrance objecting to taxation, written by the Virginia House of Burgesses and endorsed by every other Colony, was sent to the British Government, which seems to have ignored it. The phrase had been used for more than a generation in Ireland.
By 1765, the term was in use in Boston, local politician James Otis was most famously associated with the phrase, "taxation without representation is tyranny." In the course of the Revolutionary era, many arguments were pursued that sought to resolve the dispute surrounding Parliamentary sovereignty, self-governance and representation. In the course of the 1760s and 1770s, William Pitt the Elder, Sir William Pulteney, George Grenville, amongst other prominent Britons and colonial Americans, such as Joseph Galloway, James Otis Jr. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, the London Quaker Thomas Crowley, Royal Governors such as Thomas Pownall M. P. William Franklin, Sir Francis Bernard, the Attorney-General of Quebec, Francis Maseres and circulated plans for the creation of colonial seats in London, imperial union with Great Britain, or a federally representative British Parliament with powers of taxation, to consist of American, West Indian and British Members of Parliament. Despite the fact that these ideas were considered and discussed on both sides of the Atlantic, it appears that neither the American Congress, nor the colonial Assemblies, nor the British Government in Westminster, at least prior to the Carlisle Peace Commission of 1778 proposed such constitutional developments.
It must be noted, that Governor Thomas Hutchinson referred to a colonial representational proposal when he wrote that, The Assembly of Massachusetts Bay... was the first which took exception to the right of Parliament to impose Duties or Taxes on the Colonies, whilst they had no representatives in the House of Commons. This they did in a letter to their Agent in the summer of 1764... And in this letter they recommend to him a pamphlet, wrote by one of their members, in which there are proposals for admitting representatives from the Colonies to fit in the House of Commons... an American representation is thrown out as an expedient which might obviate the objections to Taxes upon the Colonies, yet... it was renounced... by the Assembly of the Colony which first proposed it, as utterly impracticable. Jared Ingersoll Snr. colonial agent for Connecticut, wrote to his American colleague, the Royal Governor of Connecticut Thomas Fitch, that following Isaac Barre's famous Parliamentary speech against the Stamp Act in 1764, Richard Jackson, M.
P. supported Barre and other pro-American M. P.s by producing before the House copies of earlier Acts of Parliament that had admitted Durham and Chester seats upon their petitions for representation. The argument was put forward in Parliament that America ought to have representatives on these grounds too. Richard Jackson supposed that Parliament had a right to tax America, but he much doubted the expediency of the Stamp act, he said if it was necessary, as ministers claimed, to tax the colonies, the latter should be permitted to elect some part of the Parliament, "otherwise the liberties of America, I do not say will be lost, but will be in danger." William Knox, an aide of George Grenville and subsequent Irish Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, received an appointment in 1756 to the American provinces, after his return to London in 1761, he recommended the creation of a colonial aristocracy and colonial representation in the British Parliament. He was shortly afterwards appointed agent for Georgia and East Florida, a post which he forfeited by writing in favour of the Stamp Act.
In his Grenville-backed pamphlet of 1769, The Controversy between Great Britain and her Colonies Reviewed, Knox suggested that colonial representatives might have been offered seats in the B
Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution sets a limit on the number of times an individual is eligible for election to the office of President of the United States, sets additional eligibility conditions for presidents who succeed to the unexpired terms of their predecessors. Prior to the ratification of the amendment, the president had not been subject to term limits, but George Washington had established a two-term tradition that many other presidents had followed. In the 1940 presidential election, Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first president to win a third term, giving rise to concerns about the potential issues involved with a president serving an unlimited number of terms. Congress approved the Twenty-second Amendment on March 24, 1947, submitted it to the state legislatures for ratification; that process was completed on February 27, 1951, after the amendment had been ratified by the requisite 36 of the then-48 states, its provisions came into force on that date.
The amendment prohibits any individual, elected president twice from being elected again. Under the amendment, an individual who fills an unexpired presidential term lasting greater than two years is prohibited from winning election as president more than once. Scholars debate whether the amendment prohibits affected individuals from succeeding to the presidency under any circumstances or whether it only applies to presidential elections. Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once, but this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress, shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
Section 2. This Article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states within seven years from the date of its submission to the states by the Congress. Notwithstanding that the Twenty-second Amendment was a reaction to Franklin D. Roosevelt's election to an unprecedented four terms as president, the notion of presidential term limits has long been debated in American politics. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 considered the issue extensively. Many—including Alexander Hamilton and James Madison—supported a lifetime appointment for presidents, while others favored fixed terms appointments. Virginia's George Mason denounced the life-tenure proposal as tantamount to establishment of an elective monarchy. An early draft of the United States Constitution provided that the President was restricted to a single seven-year term; the Framers approved four-year terms with no restriction on the amount of time a person could serve as president.
Though dismissed by the Constitutional Convention, the concept of term limits for U. S. presidents took hold during the presidencies of Thomas Jefferson. As his second term entered its final year in 1796, George Washington was exhausted from years of public service, his health had begun to decline, he was bothered by the unrelenting attacks from his political opponents, which had escalated after the signing of the Jay Treaty, believed that he had accomplished his major goals as president. For these reasons, he decided not to stand for reelection to a third term, a decision he announced to the nation through a Farewell Address in September 1796. Eleven years as Thomas Jefferson neared the half-way point of his second term, he wrote, If some termination to the services of the chief magistrate be not fixed by the Constitution, or supplied by practice, his office, nominally for years, will in fact, become for life. Since Washington made his historic announcement, numerous academics and public figures have looked at his decision to retire after two terms, have, according to political scientist Bruce Peabody, "argued he had established a two-term tradition that served as a vital check against any one person, or the presidency as a whole, accumulating too much power".
Numerous amendments aimed toward changing informal precedent into constitutional law were proposed in Congress during the early to mid-19th century, but none passed. Three of the next four presidents after Jefferson—James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson—served two terms, each one adhered to the two-term principle. Before the Civil War the seceding States drafted the Constitution of the Confederate States of America which in most respects was similar to the United States Constitution, but one change was limiting the President to a single six-year term. In spite of the strong two-term tradition, a few presidents prior to Franklin Roosevelt did attempt to secure a third term. Following Ulysses S. Grant's reelection victory in 1872, there were serious discussions within Republican political circles about the possibility of his running again in 1876. Interest in a third term for Grant evaporated however, in the light of negative public opinion and opposition fro
Stamp Act 1765
The Stamp Act of 1765 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain that imposed a direct tax on the British colonies and plantations in America and required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London, carrying an embossed revenue stamp. Printed materials included legal documents, playing cards and many other types of paper used throughout the colonies. Like previous taxes, the stamp tax had to be paid in valid British currency, not in colonial paper money; the purpose of the tax was to pay for British military troops stationed in the American colonies after the French and Indian War, the North American theater of the Seven Years' War. However, the colonists had never feared a French invasion to begin with, they contended that they had paid their share of the war expenses, they suggested that it was a matter of British patronage to surplus British officers and career soldiers who should be paid by London. The Stamp Act was unpopular among colonists.
A majority considered it a violation of their rights as Englishmen to be taxed without their consent—consent that only the colonial legislatures could grant. Their slogan was "No taxation without representation." Colonial assemblies sent petitions and protests, the Stamp Act Congress held in New York City was the first significant joint colonial response to any British measure when it petitioned Parliament and the King. One member of the British Parliament argued that the colonials were no different from the 90% residents of Great Britain who did not own property and thus could not vote, but who were "virtually" represented by land-owning electors and representatives who had common interests with them. An American attorney refuted this by pointing out that the relations between the Americans and the English electors were "a knot too infirm to be relied on" for proper representation, "virtual" or otherwise. Local protest groups established Committees of Correspondence which created a loose coalition from New England to Maryland.
Protests and demonstrations increased initiated by the Sons of Liberty and involving hanging of effigies. Soon, all stamp tax distributors were intimidated into resigning their commissions, the tax was never collected. Opposition to the Stamp Act was not limited to the colonies. British merchants and manufacturers pressured Parliament because their exports to the colonies were threatened by boycotts; the Act was repealed on 18 March 1766 as a matter of expedience, but Parliament affirmed its power to legislate for the colonies "in all cases whatsoever" by passing the Declaratory Act. A series of new taxes and regulations ensued—likewise opposed by the colonists; the episode played a major role in defining the 27 colonial grievances that were stated within the text of the Indictment of George III section of the United States Declaration of Independence, enabling the organized colonial resistance that led to the American Revolution in 1775. The British victory in the Seven Years' War, known in America as the French and Indian War, had been won only at a great financial cost.
During the war, the British national debt nearly doubled, rising from £72,289,673 in 1755 to £129,586,789 by 1764. Post-war expenses were expected to remain high because the Bute ministry decided in early 1763 to keep ten thousand British regular soldiers in the American colonies, which would cost about £225,000 per year, equal to £32 million today; the primary reason for retaining such a large force was that demobilizing the army would put 1,500 officers out of work, many of whom were well-connected in Parliament. This made it politically prudent to retain a large peacetime establishment, but Britons were averse to maintaining a standing army at home so it was necessary to garrison most of the troops elsewhere. Stationing 10,000 troops to separate American Indians and frontiersmen was one role; the outbreak of Pontiac's Rebellion in May 1763 reinforced the logic of this decision, as it was an American Indian uprising against the British expansion. The main reason to send 10,000 troops deep into the wilderness was to provide billets for the officers who were part of the British patronage system.
John Adams said, "Revenue is still demanded from America, appropriated to the maintenance of swarms of officers and pensioners in idleness and luxury." George Grenville became prime minister in April 1763 after the failure of the short-lived Bute Ministry, he had to find a way to pay for this large peacetime army. Raising taxes in Britain was out of the question, since there had been virulent protests in England against the Bute ministry's 1763 cider tax, with Bute being hanged in effigy; the Grenville ministry therefore decided that Parliament would raise this revenue by taxing the American colonists without their consent. This was something new. Politicians in London had always expected American colonists to contribute to the cost of their own defense. So long as a French threat existed, there was little trouble convincing colonial legislatures to provide assistance; such help was provided through the raising of colonial militias, which were funded by taxes raised by colonial legislatures. The legislatures were sometimes willing to help maintain regular British units defending the colonies.
So long as this sort of help was forthcoming, there was little reason for the British Parliament to impose its own taxes on the colonists. But after the peace of 1763, colonial militias were stood down. Militia of
United States Constitution
The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. The Constitution comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government, its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress. Articles Four and Six embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, the states in relationship to the federal government, the shared process of constitutional amendment. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it, it is regarded as the oldest codified national constitution in force. Since the Constitution came into force in 1789, it has been amended 27 times, including an amendment to repeal a previous one, in order to meet the needs of a nation that has profoundly changed since the eighteenth century. In general, the first ten amendments, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, offer specific protections of individual liberty and justice and place restrictions on the powers of government.
The majority of the seventeen amendments expand individual civil rights protections. Others modify government processes and procedures. Amendments to the United States Constitution, unlike ones made to many constitutions worldwide, are appended to the document. All four pages of the original U. S. Constitution are written on parchment. According to the United States Senate: "The Constitution's first three words—We the People—affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens. For over two centuries the Constitution has remained in force because its framers wisely separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality, of the federal and state governments."The first permanent constitution of its kind, adopted by the people's representatives for an expansive nation, it is interpreted and implemented by a large body of constitutional law, has influenced the constitutions of other nations. From September 5, 1774, to March 1, 1781, the Continental Congress functioned as the provisional government of the United States.
Delegates to the First and the Second Continental Congress were chosen through the action of committees of correspondence in various colonies rather than through the colonial or state legislatures. In no formal sense was it a gathering representative of existing colonial governments; the process of selecting the delegates for the First and Second Continental Congresses underscores the revolutionary role of the people of the colonies in establishing a central governing body. Endowed by the people collectively, the Continental Congress alone possessed those attributes of external sovereignty which entitled it to be called a state in the international sense, while the separate states, exercising a limited or internal sovereignty, may rightly be considered a creation of the Continental Congress, which preceded them and brought them into being; the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was the first constitution of the United States. It was drafted by the Second Continental Congress from mid-1776 through late 1777, ratification by all 13 states was completed by early 1781.
The Articles of Confederation gave little power to the central government. The Confederation Congress lacked enforcement powers. Implementation of most decisions, including modifications to the Articles, required unanimous approval of all thirteen state legislatures. Although, in a way, the Congressional powers in Article 9 made the "league of states as cohesive and strong as any similar sort of republican confederation in history", the chief problem was, in the words of George Washington, "no money"; the Continental Congress could print money but it was worthless. Congress couldn't pay it back. No state paid all their U. S. taxes. Some few paid an amount equal to interest on the national debt no more. No interest was paid on debt owed foreign governments. By 1786, the United States would default on outstanding debts. Internationally, the United States had little ability to defend its sovereignty. Most of the troops in the 625-man United States Army were deployed facing – but not threatening – British forts on American soil.
They had not been paid. Spain closed New Orleans to American commerce. S. officials protested, but to no effect. Barbary pirates began seizing American ships of commerce. If any military crisis required action, the Congress had no credit or taxing power to finance a response. Domestically, the Articles of Confederation was failing to bring unity to the diverse sentiments and interests of the various states. Although the Treaty of Paris was signed between Great Britain and the U. S. and named each of the American states, various states proceeded blithely to violate it. New York and South Carolina prosecuted Loyalists for wartime activity and redistributed their lands. Individual state legislatures independently laid embargoes, negotiated directly with foreign authorities, raised armies, and
The Corwin Amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that would shield "domestic institutions" of the states from the constitutional amendment process and from abolition or interference by Congress. Although the Corwin Amendment does not explicitly mention slavery, it was designed to protect slavery from federal power. Congress proposed the Corwin Amendment on March 2, 1861, shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War, but it was not ratified by the requisite number of states. In the period after the 1860 presidential election, several Southern states announced their secession and formed the Confederate States of America. During this period, several legislative measures, including the Corwin Amendment, were proposed in the hope of either reconciling the sections of the United States, or avoiding the secession of the border states. Senator William H. Seward and Representative Thomas Corwin introduced the Corwin Amendment, endorsed by President James Buchanan.
The amendment had been ratified by just five states by June 1863, far short of the number required for ratification, with the amendment falling out of favor during the Civil War. No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State; the text refers to slavery with terms such as "domestic institutions" and "persons held to labor or service" and avoids using the word "slavery", following the example set at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which referred to slavery in its draft of the Constitution with comparable descriptions of legal status: "Person held to Service", "the whole Number of free Persons... three fifths of all other Persons", "The Migration and Importation of such Persons". In December 1860, when the second session of the 36th Congress was convened, the deepening rift between slave states and free states was erupting into a secession crisis.
The Senate formed a "Committee of Thirteen" to investigate possibile legislative measures that might solve the slavery predicamet. The House formed a "Committee of Thirty-three" with the same objective. More than 200 resolutions with respect to slavery, including 57 resolutions proposing constitutional amendments, were introduced in Congress. Most represented compromises designed to avert military conflict. Senator Jefferson Davis proposed one. A group of House members proposed a national convention to accomplish secession as a "dignified and fair separation" that could settle questions like the equitable distribution of the federal government's assets and rights to navigate the Mississippi River. Senator John J. Crittenden proposed a compromise consisting of six constitutional amendments and four Congressional resolutions, which were tabled on December 31. On January 14, 1861, House committee submitted a plan calling for an amendment to protect slavery, enforce fugitive slave laws, repeal state personal liberty laws.
The proposed constitutional amendment declared: No amendment of this Constitution, having for its object any interference within the States with the relations between their citizens and those described in second section of the first article of the Constitution as "all other persons", shall originate with any State that does not recognize that relation within its own limits, or shall be valid without the assent of every one of the States composing the Union. While the House debated the measure over the ensuing weeks, Florida, Georgia and Texas had joined South Carolina in seceding from the Union; the contentious atmosphere in the House during the debate was relieved by abolitionist Republican Owen Lovejoy of Illinois, who questioned the amendment's reach: "Does that include polygamy, the other twin relic of barbarism?" Missouri Democrat John S. Phelps answered: "Does the gentleman desire to know whether he shall be prohibited from committing that crime?"On February 26, Congressman Thomas Corwin, who had chaired the earlier House committee, introduced his own text as a substitute, but it was not adopted.
The following day, after a series of preliminary votes, the House voted 123 to 71 in favor of the original resolution, but as this was below the required two-thirds majority, the measure was not passed. On February 28, the House returned to and approved Corwin's version by a vote of 133 to 65, just above the two-thirds threshold; the Senate took up the proposed amendment on March 2, 1861, debating its merits without a recess through the pre-dawn hours on March 4. When the final vote was taken the amendment passed with the needed two-thirds majority – 24-12. Soon afterward, it was sent to the states for ratification; the joint resolution containing the Corwin Amendment called for the amendment to be submitted to the state legislatures, as it was believed that the amendment had a greater chance of success in the legislatures of the Southern states than would have been the case in state ratifying conventions, given that state conventions were being conducted at that time throughout the South at which votes to secede from the Union were successful.
The Corwin Amendment was the second proposed "Thirteenth Amendment" submitted to the states by Congress. The first was the ill-fated Titles of Nobility Amendment in 1810. Outgoing President James Buchanan endorsed the Corwin Amendment by taking the unprecedented step of signing it, his signature on the Congressional joint resolution was unnecessary, as the President has no formal role in the constitutional amendment process. Abraham Lincoln, in his first inaugural address on March 4, said of the Corwin Amendm
Parliament of Great Britain
The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. The Acts created a new unified Kingdom of Great Britain and dissolved the separate English and Scottish parliaments in favour of a single parliament, located in the former home of the English parliament in the Palace of Westminster, near the City of London; this lasted nearly a century, until the Acts of Union 1800 merged the separate British and Irish Parliaments into a single Parliament of the United Kingdom with effect from 1 January 1801. Following the Treaty of Union in 1706, Acts of Union ratifying the Treaty were passed in both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, which created a new Kingdom of Great Britain; the Acts dissolved both parliaments, replacing them with a new parliament, referred to as the'Parliament of Great Britain', based in the home of the former English parliament. All of the traditions and standing orders of the English parliament were retained, as were the incumbent officers, members representing England comprised the overwhelming majority of the new body.
It was not considered necessary to hold a new general election. While Scots law and Scottish legislation remained separate, new legislation was thereafter to be enacted by the new parliament. After the Hanoverian King George I ascended the British throne in 1714 through the Act of Settlement of 1701, real power continued to shift away from the monarchy. George was a German ruler, spoke poor English, remained interested in governing his dominions in continental Europe rather than in Britain, he thus entrusted power to a group of his ministers, the foremost of whom was Sir Robert Walpole, by the end of his reign in 1727 the position of the ministers — who had to rely on Parliament for support — was cemented. George I's successor, his son George II, continued to follow through with his father's domestic policies and made little effort to re-establish monarchical control over the government, now in firm control by Parliament. By the end of the 18th century the monarch still had considerable influence over Parliament, dominated by the English aristocracy, by means of patronage, but had ceased to exert direct power: for instance, the last occasion on which the Royal Assent was withheld was in 1708 by Queen Anne.
At general elections the vote was restricted to freeholders and landowners, in constituencies that had changed little since the Middle Ages, so that in many "rotten" and "pocket" boroughs seats could be bought, while major cities remained unrepresented, except by the Knights of the Shire representing whole counties. Reformers and Radicals sought parliamentary reform, but as the French Revolutionary Wars developed the British government became repressive against dissent and progress towards reform was stalled. George II's successor, George III, sought to restore royal supremacy and absolute monarchy, but by the end of his reign the position of the king's ministers — who discovered that they needed the support of Parliament to enact any major changes — had become central to the role of British governance, would remain so after. During the first half of George III's reign, the monarch still had considerable influence over Parliament, which itself was dominated by the patronage and influence of the English nobility.
Most candidates for the House of Commons were identified as Whigs or Tories, but once elected they formed shifting coalitions of interests rather than dividing along clear party lines. At general elections the vote was restricted in most places to property owners, in constituencies which were out of date and did not reflect the growing importance of manufacturing towns or shifts of population, so that in the rotten and pocket boroughs seats in parliament could be bought from the rich landowners who controlled them, while major cities remained unrepresented. Reformers like William Beckford and Radicals beginning with John Wilkes called for reform of the system. In 1780, a draft programme of reform was drawn up by Charles James Fox and Thomas Brand Hollis and put forward by a sub-committee of the electors of Westminster; this included calls for the six points adopted by the Chartists. The American Revolutionary War ended in the defeat of a foreign policy seeking to forcibly restore the thirteen American colonies to British rule which King George III had fervently advocated, in March 1782 the king was forced to appoint an administration led by his opponents which sought to curb royal patronage.
In November 1783 he took the opportunity to use his influence in the House of Lords to defeat a bill to reform the British East India Company, dismissed the government of the day, appointed William Pitt the Younger to form a new government. Pitt had called for Parliament to begin to reform itself, but he did not press for long for reforms the king did not like. Proposals Pitt made in April 1785 to redistribute seats from the "rotten boroughs" to London and the counties were defeated in the House of Commons by 248 votes to 174. In the wake of the French Revolution of 1789, Radical organisations such as the London Corresponding Society sprang up to press for parliamentary reform, but as the French Revolutionary Wars developed the government took extensive repressive measures against feared domestic unrest aping the democratic and egalitarian ideals of the French Revolution and progress toward reform was stalled for decades. In 1801, the Parliament of the United Kingdom was created when the Kingdom of Great Britain was merged with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Acts of Union 1800.
List of Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain List of Parliaments of Great Britain First Parliament of Great Br