american history essay 2 bill of rights

Submitted By kristyariel94
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When the tyrannical acts of King James II went to far, English opponents of the king and the Dutch prince William of Orange teamed up to oust the king from his overly powered throne. In order for William and Mary to reestablish the Protestant monarchy they must first they must accepts parliament’s “English Bill of Rights”, which was created to establish basic rights to Englishmen and to ensure that the monarchy does not have absolutists powers.(Keene 57) Although these fundamental rights were established, based on past events, these rights were not equally bestowed upon to the colonists. William and Mary did not keep the acts that they accepted when ascending the thrown. Evidence to back up this claim lies in Bacon’s Rebellion as well as the French and Indian war.

Among these fundamental rights granted to the Englishmen by the English Bill of Rights were, no royal interference with the law, no taxation by royal prerogative, the freedom to petition the monarch, during time of peace no standing army may be maintained without parliament’s consent, the freedom for people to have arms for their own defense as allowed by the law, free election for members of parliament, freedom of speech in parliament without questioning, no excessive bail or cruel and unusual punishment, and grants and promises of fines or forfeitures before conviction will be considered void. (English Bill of Rights) Although these rights were not put into writing until the year 1689, these rights did exist in a more implied manner. A multitude of these rights were violated when looking at this from a colonial perspective.

Bacon’s Rebellion was a popular uprising in Virginia led by Nathaniel Bacon. He was unhappy with Berkeley’s policies and because of this, he rebelled with Indian allies and burned down the cities capital, Jamestown. This event forced Berkley to flee the Chesapeake region but after Bacon had died, Berkley came back with his own forces to take our the rest of Bacon’s followers. The end result left nearly 3,000 Indians dead and 1,000 colonists dead. Berkley, being a part of the colonial government was under British rule. (Keene 55)He violated the colonist’s basic rights by inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on people involved with this rebellion. This right was so important that it later showed up when parliament wrote the “English Bill of Rights” and even after that with the “US Constitution”.

The Seven Years War, also known as the French and Indian War, left England in a lot of debt. Because of this, the King started to increase the taxes on the colonies to help pay back that debt. (Keene 89) Considering that the colonies did not have representation in parliament, this directly violated the English Bill of Rights. One of the provisions of the act states “That levying money for or to the use of the crown by pretense of prerogative, without grant of parliament, for longer time, or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal.” (English Bill of Rights) In this case the right of citizenship were not extended to the colonies. This discrepancy based on what the bill says and what is actually happening is creating more and more tension between the two nations.

The colonists were not extended the