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A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Britain by H. T. Dickinson

By H. T. Dickinson

This authoritative better half introduces readers to the advancements that bring about Britain turning into a good global energy, the prime ecu imperial country, and, whilst, the main economically and socially complex, politically liberal and religiously tolerant state in Europe.

  • Covers political, social, cultural, financial and non secular background. Written through a world crew of specialists.
  • Examines Britain's place from the viewpoint of different ecu nations.

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No bill could become law and no money could be raised without being approved by all three institutions in the same session of parliament. There was no strict separation of powers, even though the king appointed all executive posts, the House of Lords was the supreme court of law and the House of Commons voted the public revenue. The executive and the judiciary also interacted with the legislature: the king appointed the judges, who sat in the House of Lords, where they offered legal advice (though they could not vote), they held office during their good behaviour and could be dismissed only by a vote of both houses of parliament.

Queen Anne was the last monarch to veto parliamentary legislation (in the first decade of the century) and, thereafter, the monarch had to accept bills passed by parliament. Despite these reductions in the prerogative powers of the crown, the monarch still possessed considerable political influence. The monarch was the supreme head of the Church of England. The monarch could still summon or prorogue parliament when it was most convenient to do so. The monarch always remained at the pinnacle of an aristocratic social hierarchy and leading politicians always sought access to the royal court in order to secure royal favour.

It was accepted by all that every subject had the right to enjoy freedom from oppression and that each individual was free to do some things without interference from government or legislature. There was a moral limit to the power of government or parliament to interfere with the activities of subjects. It was also agreed that this sphere of free action could not be unlimited, because this would mean that no government or parliament could possess any legitimate or effective authority over its subjects.

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