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Early Changes in English Government

            In 17th century England, major events took place that changed the structure of English government. These changes influenced the relationship between the English people and their government. By the end of the 17th century, England had created a form of government known as a Limited Monarchy. They did not create this government easily; it took many changes in power to reach an ideal government which still exists today. The Stewart Dynasty started in 1603. Many of its rulers claimed a "divine right of kings." This was the belief that God gave the king the right to rule. James I announced to Parliament in his speech in 1610 that his rule was a divine right monarchy and that this "state of monarchy is the supremest thing on earth." .
             James I followed pro-Catholic foreign policy with Spain and discriminated against conservative Protestants known as Puritans. This made many of the Protestants angry with him. The Magna Carta, which was created in 1215, stated that only the Grand Council could create taxes and that all people are granted a fair trial by jury. He violated this by imprisoning people without a fair trial and raising revenue without the consult of parliament. After the rule of James I, Charles I came into power in 1625. Now that Puritans dominated parliament, they protested against his absolute rule by issuing the petition of right. The petition reaffirmed the Magna Carta. The king was forced to sign it when parliament withheld new tax laws. This angered Charles so he dissolved parliament in 1629. After eliminating the parliaments authority, King Charles I intentionally overpowered parliament to illegally raise money, imprison political enemies, torture people into self incrimination through Star Chambers and forced puritans to conform to Catholicism. Charles I was heavily influenced by his Catholic wife and queen Henrietta. .
             In 1642, 11 years after the parliament was dissolved, a Scottish uprising forced king Charles I to call Parliament to raise funds for an army.

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