The British Parliament: House of Lords & House of Commons - Video & Lesson Transcript | nickchinlund.info
It was perhaps inevitable that the House of Lords' vote in October to by Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell.1 In most accounts this new chamber is taken to be his relationship with parliament, his attitude towards the nobility, his views on purged House of Commons' right to act unilaterally without the Lords in order to. In this lesson, we will take a close look at the British Parliament, paying special attention to the membership and roles of the House of. Differences between the House of Lords and House of Commons Sometimes people inherit their status as a Lord from their family. There are.
Some aristocrats were patrons of numerous " pocket boroughs ", and therefore controlled a considerable part of the membership of the House of Commons.
When the House of Commons passed a Reform Bill to correct some of these anomalies inthe House of Lords rejected the proposal. The popular cause of reform, however, was not abandoned by the ministry, despite a second rejection of the bill in William IV originally balked at the proposal, which effectively threatened the opposition of the House of Lords, but at length relented.
Before the new peers were created, however, the Lords who opposed the bill admitted defeat and abstained from the vote, allowing the passage of the bill. The crisis damaged the political influence of the House of Lords but did not altogether end it. A vital reform was effected by the Lords themselves inwhen they changed their standing orders to abolish proxy voting, preventing Lords from voting without taking the trouble to attend.
Inthe Chancellor of the ExchequerDavid Lloyd George, introduced into the House of Commons the "People's Budget", which proposed a land tax targeting wealthy landowners.
The popular measure, however, was defeated in the heavily Conservative House of Lords. Asquith then proposed that the powers of the House of Lords be severely curtailed. After a further general election in Decemberand with an undertaking by King George V to create sufficient new Liberal peers to overcome Lords' opposition to the measure if necessary, the Asquith Government secured the passage of a bill to curtail the powers of the House of Lords.
The Parliament Act effectively abolished the power of the House of Lords to reject legislation, or to amend it in a way unacceptable to the House of Commons: It was not meant to be a permanent solution; more comprehensive reforms were planned. Neither party, however, pursued the matter with much enthusiasm, and the House of Lords remained primarily hereditary. Inthe Parliament Act reduced the delaying power of the House of Lords further to two sessions or one year. Inthe predominantly hereditary nature of the House of Lords was changed by the Life Peerages Actwhich authorised the creation of life baronies, with no numerical limits.
The number of Life Peers then gradually increased, though not at a constant rate. The Labour Party had for most of the 20th century a commitment, based on the party's historic opposition to class privilege, to abolish the House of Lords, or at least expel the hereditary element.
Inthe Labour Government of Harold Wilson attempted to reform the House of Lords by introducing a system under which hereditary peers would be allowed to remain in the House and take part in debate, but would be unable to vote.
This plan, however, was defeated in the House of Commons by a coalition of traditionalist Conservatives such as Enoch Powelland Labour members who continued to advocate the outright abolition of the Upper House such as Michael Foot. When Michael Foot became leader of the Labour Party inabolition of the House of Lords became a part of the party's agenda; under his successor, Neil Kinnockhowever, a reformed Upper House was proposed instead.
The British Parliament: House of Lords & House of Commons
In the meantime, the creation of hereditary peerages except for members of the Royal Family has been arrested, with the exception of three creations during the administration of the Conservative Margaret Thatcher in the s.
Whilst some hereditary peers were at best apathetic, the Labour Party's clear commitments were not lost on Merlin Hanbury-Tracy, 7th Baron Sudeleywho for decades was considered an expert on the House of Lords. Reform of the House of Lords First admission of women[ edit ] There were no women sitting in the House of Lords untilwhen a small number came into the chamber as a result of the Life Peerages Act One of these was Irene Curzon, 2nd Baroness Ravensdalewho had inherited her father's peerage in and was made a life peer to enable her to sit.
After a campaign stretching back in some cases to the s, another twelve women who held hereditary peerages in their own right were finally admitted by the Peerage Act The Labour Government introduced legislation to expel all hereditary peers from the Upper House as a first step in Lords reform.
As a part of a compromise, however, it agreed to permit 92 hereditary peers to remain until the reforms were complete.
'Our House of Lords': Oliver Cromwell, the nobility and the other House - nickchinlund.info
Thus all but 92 hereditary peers were expelled under the House of Lords Act see below for its provisionsmaking the House of Lords predominantly an appointed house. Sincehowever, no further reform has taken place. Socialist MPs favouring outright abolition voted against all the options. Most of the remainder were to be appointed by a Commission to ensure a mix of "skills, knowledge and experience". This proposal was also not implemented. A cross-party campaign initiative called " Elect the Lords " was set up to make the case for a predominantly elected Second Chamber in the run up to the general election.
At the election, the Labour Party proposed further reform of the Lords, but without specific details. Duringa cross-party committee discussed Lords reform, with the aim of reaching a consensus: Significantly this last vote represented an overall majority of MPs. But this was nevertheless only an indicative vote and many political and legislative hurdles remained to be overcome for supporters of an elected second chamber.
Commons, House ofExploring the chamber of the House of Commons and the functions of its members. Almost all legislation proceeds from the majority party in the Commons, which forms the government and the cabinet; the latter is composed of senior ministers chosen by, and belonging to the party of, the prime ministernearly all of whom serve in the House of Commons. The speaker does not participate in debates and votes only in order to break a tie, a case that compels the speaker to vote in favour of the status quo.
By a convention of the constitution not established until the 20th century, the prime minister is always a member of the House of Commons, instead of a member of either house. The first reading is purely formal, but the second reading provides the occasion for debate on the principles involved. The bill then goes into committee, where it is examined clause by clause. Most bills are sent to standing committees, each of which deals with bills belonging to a particular range of topics, with the committees reflecting in their makeup the respective strength of parties in the House.
Having examined the bill, the committee then reports back to the House, and after further amendments may have been proposed in the course of more debate, the bill is read a third time and is then voted on.
In addition to bills proposed by the government, a limited number of bills sponsored by individual members are considered by the House each session. Beginning inpower over a number of matters—including health, education, housing, transportation, the environmentand agriculture—was devolved from the British Parliament to the newly established Scottish Parliament, National Assembly of Wales, and somewhat later Northern Ireland Assembly.
That reallocation of legislative responsibilities raised the issue of whether MPs from Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland should continue to vote on measures directed at England only. New stages were introduced into the standard lawmaking procedure during which legislation that was determined to affect England only was to be considered and voted upon by MPs from English constituencies who were effectively granted veto power before moving on to consideration by the House of Commons as a whole.
When it was not clear whether a measure was an England-only matter, the speaker of the House of Commons was tasked with making that determination. Aside from passing legislation, the most important business of the full House is the question period, which is held on a regular basis.
The letters patents issued by Cromwell to bestow these honours followed the traditional formula: Whereas Howard was eventually summoned to sit as a member of the Other House by writ of summons, Dunch was not. But this is hardly surprising.
It was only natural when nominating a body of members on whose fidelity the future security of the regime rested that Cromwell chose men he knew to be faithful to himself and the cause. Those who had served with Cromwell in the army, or under the various regimes of the s — of which many also happened to be related to him — were therefore an obvious choice. All but three of the members had sat in at least one English Parliament prior towith over half having sat in one of the two houses of parliament prior to the revolution of There were also a number of financial administrators, court officials and judicial office holders — including the Lord Chief Justices of both benches who were summoned to sit as fully-fledged members of the upper chamber rather than as their assistants as had previously been the case with the House of Lords.
The membership of the Other House chosen by Cromwell was also geographically diverse. There was also representation for Scotland and Ireland — including the Irish nobleman Lord Broghill and the Scottish earl of Cassillis and a number of others who had served as officers or administrators across the three kingdoms.
- Parliament explains the relationship between the Commons and Lords
- House of Lords
- ‘Our House of Lords’: Oliver Cromwell, the nobility and the other House
Even more revealing is an examination of the political and religious sympathies of the members of the Other House. Can it tell us anything about the sort of settlement he hoped to secure? Most obviously, it is worth considering whether the membership of the Other House displayed any political bias: Simply counting the number of soldiers in the Other House, however, is not necessarily the best way to identify those with military sympathies. Far more numerous were men of politically conservative instincts.
Indeed, twenty of those summoned to the Other House, almost a third of its membership, had been members of the Nominated Assembly. To some extent the membership of the Other House reflected the different religious outlooks that Cromwell hoped to reconcile under the umbrella of liberty of conscience.
On the one hand there were a number of conservative country gentlemen, like Onslow, Hobart and Sir William Strickland, who tended to favour a Presbyterian church settlement.
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On the other hand there were many members who had connections with, or were members of, Congregational churches. It meant that even though the military Cromwellians were a minority in the Other House, those who advocated liberty of conscience — ie the military and civilian Cromwellians combined — were very much in the majority.
The net result was an upper chamber that was relatively conservative in its politics but mostly radical in its religious outlook. It was a paradoxical blend that, in many ways, reflected the contradictory personality of Oliver Cromwell himself.
When parliament reassembled on 20 January many in the Commons criticised the new chamber while few jumped to its defence. It seems the Other House pleased no one. As one satirical verse put it at the time: Surely his highness was inspired, When he made that house, which no man desired. Yet the ultimate paradox was that it could only be an effective balance over the Commons so long as the Commons accepted it as such.