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roundsquare's avatar

How did the British Crown lose absolute authority?

Asked by roundsquare (5517points) March 26th, 2011

At what point did the King/Queen of England lose absolute authority? As far as I know, he/she still technically has this authority but its really in name only. Is this true? As far as I know, England never had a revolution like the American/French ones so I’m wondering how this happened.

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9 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The British crown lost absolute authority when King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215. (Link)

Edit: The Magna Carta limited the monarch’s authority.

zenvelo's avatar

It started in 1215 with the Magna Carta ceding power to the Barons and Lords. Britain has had a number of civil wars over the crown over the centuries. The crown repeatedly ceded power to Parliament. And Oliver Cromwell actually overthrew the crown in the 17th century for a while.

gameeboya's avatar

After the magna carta it was still almost absolute power the kings would offten disband the parliament and that soon cause a rebelion and it eventually came to a point where the king/queen was only a figure head and parliament ran the show look “round heads” that was the name of thoughs loyal to the crown during the revolt.

harple's avatar

The Queen still has the power, theoretically, over the governement. When a new government is elected they have to go to her and ask her permission to come into power. Nice.

jca's avatar

yes but @harple, isn’t that just a formality? if she were to say no to someone that was elected, there would be hell to pay!

harple's avatar

@jca I’d love to see it happen – would shake things up for a while, no bad thing!

basstrom188's avatar

The Bill of Rights 1688 led the way to regular parliaments rather the calling of parliament when the king needed to raise money. The issue of no taxation without representation was one of the issues that triggered the rift between parliament and the crown leading to the English Civil War (1642–49).

Lightlyseared's avatar

We cut the King’s head off and replaced him with a man so evil he outlawed music, dancing, the theatre even Christmas. This wasnt too much fun so we got another guy to be king and promised not cut his head off on the condition he didn’t tell us what to do. It seems to work quite nicely.

mattbrowne's avatar

French Revolution also played an important role. Britain became more democratic as a result while keeping kings and queens.

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