Parliamentary Procedure

Parliamentary Procedure
The political realities of 17th century England shifted greatly from the beginning of the century to the end.   At the start of the century, the government of England could easily be called an absolute monarchy; however it was by the end of the century clearly becoming the Parliamentary system we see today.   It was due to the great struggles of this century that the English government was able to change so drastically.
It is clear that at the beginning of the century, as witnessed by James I’s speech to Parliament, that all power should rest in the hands of the king.   In the view of James I, Parliament is simply there to give him money when he needs it and to bring to his attention the grievances of his subjects.   “First then, I am not to find fault that you inform yourselves of the particular just grievances of the people; nay I must tell you, ye can neither be just nor faithful to me or to your countries that trust and employ you, if you do not.”[1]
James would go on to chide Parliament not to interfere with his rule of the kingdom.   “I am now an old king.   … I must not be taught my office.”[2] In addition he informs Parliament that they are not to attempt to diminish of outright deny him any of his rights as passed down from those who came before him.   He argues that “All novelties are dangerous as well in a politic as in a natural body” as an attempt to stem the flow of changes that he perceives as threatening to his own base of power.
Due to numerous abuses on the part of James I, it is clear from the Petition of Right of 1628 that the members of Parliament and the people of England as a whole were not content with the way things were.   Many of the policies enacted by James I were contradictory to guarantees set forth by his predecessors in order to protect the rights of the citizens of the realm.
One such protection was that the king could not force his people to lend him money.   As stated in the Petition of Right, “no person...