Bill of Rights


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Related to Bill of Rights: English Bill of Rights, Bill of Rights 1689

Bill of Rights

, in British history
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 III and Mary II in the Declaration of Rights as a condition for ascending the throne after the revolution in which James II 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 Anne (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 Settlement.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bill of Rights

(1791) term popularly applied to first 10 Amendments of U.S. Constitution. [Am. Hist.: Payton, 78]
See: Freedom
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(3 Cranch) 448, 451 (1806) (separating "the bill of rights, of Virginia" and the "amendments to the [Constitution of the United States").
The human rights group, which has long campaigned against the introduction of a British Bill of Rights, says the legislative shift would limit human rights to cases that the government considers worth pursuing.
The limited federal scope, the lack of enforcement and the very prospect that the Bill of Rights could be easily repealed all stirred the Trudeau government to protect these rights by clothing them with decisive, all-governmental constitutional effect and limiting the opportunity for amendment and repeal.
The Air Passenger Bill of Rights was adopted by the local commercial aviation industry amid an unprecedented increase in the number of people taking aircraft as mode of transportation in the country
The practices outlined in the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights are already followed by many nonprofits.
And the resolution of three big debates in the news right now--the government's use of technology for surveillance, the legal rights of terrorism suspects, and the Tea Party's call for a less-powerful federal government--may hinge on how the Supreme Court interprets the 220-year-old Bill of Rights:
Unfamiliar with these legal distinctions, most Americans probably assume that the Bill of Rights always included protections against state governments, state courts and local police forces that might mistreat or oppress them.
They could simply incorporate the Second into the Fourteenth as has been done with most of the rest of the Bill of Rights, (The most likely outcome.) They could declare that the "Privileges anti Immunities" clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does apply the Bill of Rights directly to the stales.
It also wants a Bill introduced in this parliamentary session to bring about a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland as envisaged in the Good Friday agreement.
The fact is that the Bill of Rights was just a political ploy, and by the time it passed it was a big yawn to those who passed it.
Socioeconomic rights (rights to quality education, decent housing, adequate standard of living, health, social security, a healthy environment, etc.), which are in the Declaration of Principles and State Policies of the Constitution, are restated and included in what is proposed by the President's consultative committee as an 'expanded Bill of Rights,' and it is declared that: