Bill of Rights

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Bill of Rights,

1689, in British history, one of the fundamental instruments of constitutional law. It registered in statutory form the outcome of the long 17th-century struggle between the Stuart kings and the English Parliament. Its principles were accepted by William IIIWilliam III,
1650–1702, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1689–1702); son of William II, prince of Orange, stadtholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, and of Mary, oldest daughter of King Charles I of England.
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 and Mary IIMary II,
1662–94, queen of England, wife of William III. The daughter of James II by his first wife, Anne Hyde, she was brought up a Protestant despite her father's adoption of Roman Catholicism. In 1677 she married her cousin William of Orange and went with him to Holland.
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 in the Declaration of Rights as a condition for ascending the throne after the revolution in which James IIJames II,
1633–1701, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1685–88); second son of Charles I, brother and successor of Charles II. Early Life
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 was dethroned (1688). The Bill of Rights stated that certain acts of James II were illegal and henceforth prohibited; that Englishmen possessed certain inviolable civil and political rights; that James had forfeited the throne by abdication and that William and Mary were lawful sovereigns; that the succession should pass to the heirs of Mary, then to Princess AnneAnne,
1665–1714, queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1702–7), later queen of Great Britain and Ireland (1707–14), daughter of James II and Anne Hyde; successor to William III.
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 (later queen) and her heirs; and that no Roman Catholic could ever be sovereign of England. By its provisions and implications it gave political supremacy to Parliament and was supplemented (1701) by the Act of SettlementSettlement, Act of,
1701, passed by the English Parliament, to provide that if William III and Princess Anne (later Queen Anne) should die without heirs, the succession to the throne should pass to Sophia, electress of Hanover, granddaughter of James I, and to her heirs, if they
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.

Bill of Rights,

in U.S. history: see Constitution of the United StatesConstitution of the United States,
document embodying the fundamental principles upon which the American republic is conducted. Drawn up at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, the Constitution was signed on Sept.
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.

Bill of Rights

 

in Great Britain, a constitutional act passed by Parliament in 1689.

The Bill of Rights was the legal formulation of the so-called Glorious Revolution. It reinforced the victory of the big bourgeoisie and part of the landed aristocracy over absolutism. Without the consent of Parliament the king did not have the right to suspend the power of laws or their execution, to levy taxes for the needs of the crown, and to draft and maintain a standing army in peacetime. Special courts dealing with ecclesiastical and other matters (the Star Chamber and the Court of High Commission) were abolished. The Bill of Rights proclaimed the right to petition, freedom of Parliamentary debate, and free elections to Parliament (in which only the aristocracy and the big bourgeoisie participated). Having sharply limited the crown’s prerogatives and guaranteed the rights of Parliament, the Bill of Rights laid the foundations for the British constitutional monarchy. It formally effected a class compromise between the bourgeoisie and the gentry.

PUBLICATIONS

Konstitutsii burzhuaznykh gosudarstv Evropy. Moscow, 1957. Pages 174–82.

Bill of Rights

 

in the USA, the first ten amendments to the Constitution of 1787, which were passed by Congress under pressure from the broad masses of the people in 1789 and went into effect in 1791.

The Bill of Rights proclaimed the bourgeois democratic freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and religious belief, as well as the separation of church and state; it prohibited the compulsory quartering of troops during peacetime and established the inviolability of the person, property, and personal papers. The Bill of Rights played an important role in developing the democratic traditions of the American people. The progressive forces in the USA are carrying on the struggle for the observance of the Bill of Rights against racial discrimination and the suppression of political freedoms.

REFERENCES

Goncharov, L. N. “K istorii politicheskoi bor’by ν SShA za ’Bill’ o pravakh’ ν 1789–1791 gg.” Nauchnye doklady vysshei shkoly: Istoricheskie nauki, 1958, no. 3.
Myers, D. P. The Process of Constitutional Amendment. [Washington, 1941.]

Bill of Rights

(1791) term popularly applied to first 10 Amendments of U.S. Constitution. [Am. Hist.: Payton, 78]
See: Freedom
References in periodicals archive ?
The emphasis in these Bills of Rights is human-ness, so corporations are unlikely to avail themselves of these rights (which is not the case under the Charter where the encompassing legal term "person" is used).
Since some of the world's worst political regimes have also promulgated bills of rights, it seems that some countries have no problem with the lack of proper legislation in this area.
Patients' bills of rights are piously described as serving patients.
So I applaud Weight Watchers for voluntarily adopting our Consumer Bills of Rights in all its locations nationally.