750 years ago....... The turning point for democracy that gets overlooked
But 2015 is also the anniversary of another important, and far more radical, milestone in British democratic history, writes Luke Foddy.''
''Almost exactly 750 years ago, an extraordinary parliament opened in Westminster.
For the very first time, elected representatives from every county and major town in England were invited to parliament on behalf of their local communities.
It was, in the words of one historian, "the House of Commons in embryo.
The January Parliament, which first met on 20 January 1265, is one of the most significant events in British democratic history.
The election of two knights from every shire and two burgesses from the towns helped establish the two-member county constituencies that endured until the 20th Century.
The delegates coming to parliament in 1265 even had their costs covered - a sort of 13th-Century MPs' expenses.''
''The ruling king in 1265 was Henry III, but Henry wasn't really ruling anything. It was Simon de Montfort, the rebel earl of Leicester, who was in control, having seized power the year before.
Montfort, who called the January Parliament, was the leader of a political faction that sought major reform of the realm. Fed up with Henry's misrule, as they saw it, these barons had confronted the King and, at a parliament in Oxford in 1258, forced him to adhere to a radical programme of reform. This resulted in an appointed council sharing power with the monarch. ''
The roots of democracy?
cjp wrote: »..... Oh dear God, I've admitted to liking something Limey.I'll never hear the end of this.
Jayhawker wrote: »...But seriously Shush....