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The Bill of Rights began by outlining the grievances generated during the reign of James II. It then listed important rights relating to the powers of Parliament; and declared William and Mary to be king and queen, in the hope that they would be instruments of 'deliverance' from tyranny. It also implemented new oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and stipulated that in future no 'popish prince' could 'inherit, possess, or enjoy the crown'. [1]


The Bill of Rights 1689 is an act of the English Parliament of 1689, also known as the English Bill of rights, constituted the basis of parliamentary rule, and limited civil rights. It forms part of the basis of the English system of parliamentary democracy. and limited Monarchy, and influenced on later human rights documents.

A step in the "Left" direction

The English Bill of rights followed serious problems over the relative powers of King and parliament during the reigns of Charles the First and James the Second. In 1689 English parliament was undemocratic and chosen mainly by aristocrats. During the later 19th Century and early 20th Century UK parliament gradually became Democratic and the Bill of Rights 1689 helped enable democracy.

While the English Bill of Rights was a major step towards popular sovereignty, in that it transfers power from Crown and Church to representatives of the people, it also restricts the rights of many individuals based on religion and class.

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