Bill Jones
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The historical development of British government
in British politics today
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This chapter describes the transformation of the British system of governance from an absolute monarchy to a representative democracy. It presents the developments in a chronological order beginning from events that occurred upto the eighteenth century followed by constitutional changes in the eighteenth century to the developments in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Simon de Montfort, an immigrant from France, led the so-called 'reform movement' aimed at limiting royal power in 1258 and the model parliament was formed in 1295. Events such as the glorious revolution between 1688 and 1689, the appointment of Robert Walpole as the first prime minister, the influence of the French Revolution in 1789, and the passing of Great Reform Act in 1832 which inaugurated the age of democratic government in Britain are covered. Brief notes on political parties and the resolution of conflict between the Houses of Lords and Commons are also provided.

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