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In modern politics and history, a parliament is a
legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure i ...
body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: representing the
electorate Electorate may refer to: * The people who are eligible to vote in an Election#Electorate, election, especially their number e.g. the term ''size of (the) electorate'' * The dominion of a Prince-elector in the Holy Roman Empire until 1806 * An electo ...

electorate
, making laws and overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries. The term is similar to the idea of a
senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...

senate
,
synod A synod () is a council of a Ecclesia (church), church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. The word ''wikt:synod, synod'' comes from the meaning "assembly" or "meeting" and is analogous with the L ...

synod
or
congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...

congress
and is commonly used in countries that are current or former
monarchies A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legisl ...

monarchies
. Some contexts restrict the use of the word ''parliament'' to
parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
s, although it is also used to describe the legislature in some
presidential system A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, governmen ...
s (e.g., the
Parliament of Ghana The Parliament of Ghana is the Legislature, legislative body of the Government of Ghana. History Legislative representation in Ghana dates back to 1850, when the country was a British colony known as Gold Coast (British colony), Gold Coast. The ...
), even where it is not in the official name. Historically, parliaments included various kinds of deliberative, consultative, and judicial assemblies, e.g., the French medieval and early modern
parlements A ''parlement'' (), under the French Ancien Régime File:Prise de la Bastille.jpg, The ''Storming of the Bastille'' on 14 July 1789, later taken to mark the end of the ''Ancien Régime''; watercolour by Jean-Pierre Houël The Ancien Rég ...
.


Etymology

The English term is derived from
Anglo-NormanAnglo-Norman may refer to: *Anglo-Normans The Anglo-Normans ( nrf, Anglo-Normaunds, ang, Engel-Norðmandisca) were the medieval ruling class in England, composed mainly of a combination of ethnic Anglo-Saxons, Normans, Bretons, Flemish people, F ...
and dates to the 14th century, coming from the 11th century
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spok ...
, "discussion, discourse", from , meaning "to talk". The meaning evolved over time, originally referring to any discussion, conversation, or negotiation through various kinds of deliberative or judicial groups, often summoned by a monarch. By the 15th century, in Britain, it had come to specifically mean the legislature.


Early parliaments

Since ancient times, when societies were tribal, there were councils or a headman whose decisions were assessed by village elders. This is called
tribalism Tribalism is the state of being organized by, or advocating for, tribes or tribal lifestyles. Human evolution has primarily occurred in small groups, as opposed to people's cooperation in society as a whole. With a negative connotation and in a ...
. Some scholars suggest that in ancient
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the ...

Mesopotamia
there was a primitive democratic government where the kings were assessed by council. The same has been said about ancient India, where some form of deliberative assemblies existed, and therefore there was some form of
democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polit ...

democracy
. However, these claims are not accepted by most scholars, who see these forms of government as
oligarchies Oligarchy (; ) is a form of power structure in which power Power typically refers to: * Power (physics) In physics, power is the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit time. In the International System of Units, the unit of power ...
.
Ancient Athens Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is the capital city, capital and List of cities in Greece, largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica (region), Attica region and is one of the List ...
was the cradle of
democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polit ...

democracy
. The
Athenian assembly The ekklesia in Athens convened on a hill called the Pnyx The ecclesia or ekklesia ( el, ) was the assembly of the citizens in the democratic city-states of ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belo ...
(, ''ekklesia'') was the most important institution, and every free male
citizen Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and th ...

citizen
could take part in the discussions. Slaves and women could not. However,
Athenian democracy The relief representation depicts the personified Demos being crowned by Democracy. About 336 BC. Ancient Agora Museum. Athenian democracy developed around the 6th century BC in the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or rela ...
was not representative, but rather direct, and therefore the ''ekklesia'' was different from the parliamentary system. The
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the , run through of the . Beginning with the of the (traditionally dated to 509 BC) and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the , Rome's control rapidly expanded durin ...
had
legislative assemblies {{Unreferenced, date=December 2009 Legislative assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, ...
, who had the final say regarding the election of magistrates, the enactment of new
statutes A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships ...
, the carrying out of capital punishment, the declaration of war and peace, and the creation (or dissolution) of alliances. The Roman Senate controlled money, administration, and the details of foreign policy. Some Muslim scholars argue that the Islamic
shura Shura ( ar, شُورَىٰ, ''shūrā'') is an Arabic word for "consultation". The Quran and the Prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad encourage Muslims to decide their affairs in consultation with those who will be affected by that decision. The pr ...

shura
(a method of taking decisions in Islamic societies) is analogous to the parliament. However, other scholars (notably from
Hizb ut-Tahrir Hizb ut-Tahrir ( ar, حزب التحرير, lit=Party of Liberation) is an international pan-Islamist and fundamentalist political organization whose stated aim is the re-establishment of the Islamic Caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَ ...
) highlight what they consider fundamental differences between the shura system and the parliamentary system.


England


Early forms of assembly

England has long had a tradition of a body of men who would assist and advise the king on important matters. Under the
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a who inhabited . They traced their origins to the 5th century settlement of incomers to Britain, who migrated to the island from the coastlands of . However, the of the Anglo-Saxons occurred within Britain, and the ide ...
kings, there was an advisory council, the
Witenagemot 300px, Anglo-Saxon king with his witan. Biblical scene in the Illustrated Old English Hexateuch (11th century), portraying Pharaoh in court session, after passing judgment on his chief baker and chief cupbearer. The Witenaġemot (; ang, witena ...
. The name derives from the
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventu ...
ƿitena ȝemōt, or witena gemōt, for "meeting of wise men". The first recorded act of a witenagemot was the law code issued by King Æthelberht of Kent ca. 600, the earliest document which survives in sustained Old English prose; however, the witan was certainly in existence long before this time. The Witan, along with the folkmoots (local assemblies), is an important ancestor of the modern English parliament. As part of the
Norman Conquest The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and ...
, the new king,
William I William I (c. 1028Bates ''William the Conqueror'' p. 33 – 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first House of Normandy, Norman List of English monarchs, monarch of Engla ...

William I
, did away with the Witenagemot, replacing it with a
Curia Regis ''Curia regis'' () is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...
("King's Council"). Membership of the Curia was largely restricted to the tenants in chief, the few nobles who "rented" great estates directly from the king, along with
ecclesiastic In Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. * help them better understand Christian tenets * make comparative religion, comparisons between Christianity and other traditions * Chris ...
s. William brought to England the
feudal system Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the disco ...
of his native
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, ...

Normandy
, and sought the advice of the
curia regis ''Curia regis'' () is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...
before making laws. This is the original body from which the Parliament, the higher courts of law, and the
Privy Council A privy council is a body that advises the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 "he head of state He or HE may refer to: ...
and Cabinet descend. Of these, the legislature is formally the High Court of Parliament; judges sit in the Supreme Court of Judicature. Only the executive government is no longer conducted in a royal court. Most historians date the emergence of a parliament with some degree of power to which the throne had to defer no later than the rule of
Edward I Edward I (17/18 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots ( la, Malleus Scotorum), was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England ...

Edward I
. Like previous kings, Edward called leading nobles and church leaders to discuss government matters, especially
finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of money and investments. Savers and investors have money available which could ...

finance
and
taxation A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or Legal person, legal entity) by a governmental organization in order to fund government spending and various public expenditures (regional, ...
. A meeting in 1295 became known as the
Model Parliament The Model Parliament is the term, attributed to Frederic William Maitland Frederic William Maitland (28 May 1850 – ) was an English historian and lawyer who is regarded as the modern father of English legal history. Early life and educat ...
because it set the pattern for later Parliaments. The significant difference between the Model Parliament and the earlier Curia Regis was the addition of the Commons; that is, the inclusion of elected representatives of rural landowners and of townsmen. In 1307,
Edward I Edward I (17/18 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots ( la, Malleus Scotorum), was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England ...

Edward I
agreed not to collect certain
taxes A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or Legal person, legal entity) by a governmental organization in order to fund government spending and various public expenditures (regional, ...

taxes
without the "consent of the realm" through parliament. He also enlarged the court system.


''Magna Carta'' and the Model Parliament

The tenants-in-chief often struggled with their spiritual counterparts and with the king for power. In 1215, they secured from
King John of England John (24 December 1166 – 19 October 1216) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerg ...

King John of England
''
Magna Carta (Medieval Latin for "Great Charter of Freedoms"), commonly called (also ''Magna Charta''; "Great Charter"), is a Royal charter, royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor, on ...

Magna Carta
'', which established that the king may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of a council. It was also established that the most important tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics be summoned to the council by personal writs from the sovereign, and that all others be summoned to the council by general writs from the
sheriff A sheriff is a government official, with varying duties, existing in some countries with historical ties to England where the office originated. There is an analogous although independently developed office in Iceland that is commonly translated ...

sheriff
s of their counties. Modern government has its origins in the Curia Regis; parliament descends from the Great Council later known as the ''parliamentum'' established by ''
Magna Carta (Medieval Latin for "Great Charter of Freedoms"), commonly called (also ''Magna Charta''; "Great Charter"), is a Royal charter, royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor, on ...

Magna Carta
''. During the reign of
King Henry III
King Henry III
, 13th-Century English Parliaments incorporated elected representatives from shires and towns. These parliaments are, as such, considered forerunners of the modern parliament. In 1265,
Simon de Montfort Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester ( – 4 August 1265), later sometimes referred to as Simon V de Montfort to distinguish him from his namesake relatives, was a nobleman Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately b ...
, then in rebellion against
Henry IIIHenry III may refer to: * Henry III, Duke of Bavaria (940–989) * Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor (1017–1056) * Henry III, Count of Louvain (died 1095) * Henry III, Count of Luxembourg (died 1096) * Henry III, Duke of Carinthia (1050–1122) * Henr ...

Henry III
, summoned a parliament of his supporters without royal authorization. The
archbishop In many Christian denomination, Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin ''archiepiscopus'', from Greek language, Greek , from -, 'chief', and 'over'+ 'seer') is a bishop of higher rank or office. In some cases, such as the Lutheranism ...
s,
bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chur ...

bishop
s,
abbot Abbot (from Aramaic: ''Abba'' "father") is an ecclesiastical title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic ...

abbot
s,
earl Earl () is a rank of the nobility in Britain. The title originates in the Old English word ''eorl'', meaning "a man of noble birth or rank". The word is cognate with the Scandinavia Scandinavia, Sami languages, Sami: ''Skadesi-suolu''/''S ...

earl
s, and
baron Baron is a rank of nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility has often been an Estates of the ...

baron
s were summoned, as were two
knight A knight is a person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a head of state (including the pope) or representative for service to the monarch, the christian denomination, church or the country, especially in a military capacity. Knighthood ...

knight
s from each shire and two burgesses from each
borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''borough'' designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of the term varies widely. History ...
. Knights had been summoned to previous councils, but it was unprecedented for the boroughs to receive any representation. Come 1295,
Edward I Edward I (17/18 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots ( la, Malleus Scotorum), was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England ...

Edward I
later adopted de Montfort's ideas for representation and election in the so-called "
Model Parliament The Model Parliament is the term, attributed to Frederic William Maitland Frederic William Maitland (28 May 1850 – ) was an English historian and lawyer who is regarded as the modern father of English legal history. Early life and educat ...
". At first, each
estate Estate or The Estate may refer to: Law * Estate (law), a term in common law for a person's property, entitlements and obligations * Estates of the realm, a broad social category in the histories of certain countries. ** The Estates, representative ...
debated independently; by the reign of
Edward III Edward III (13 November 131221 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor before his accession, was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death in 1377. He is noted for his military success and for restoring royal aut ...

Edward III
, however, Parliament recognisably assumed its modern form, with authorities dividing the legislative body into two separate chambers.


Parliament under Henry VIII and Edward VI

The purpose and structure of Parliament in Tudor England underwent a significant transformation under the reign of
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged fro ...

Henry VIII
. Originally its methods were primarily medieval, and the monarch still possessed a form of inarguable dominion over its decisions. According to Elton, it was
Thomas Cromwell Thomas Cromwell, (; 1485 – 28 July 1540) was an English lawyer and statesman who served as chief minister to King Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the King ...

Thomas Cromwell
, 1st Earl of Essex, then chief minister to Henry VIII, who initiated still other changes within parliament. The Reformation Acts supplied Parliament with unlimited power over the country. This included authority over virtually every matter, whether social, economic, political, or religious ; it legalised the Reformation, officially and indisputably. The king had to rule through the council, not over it, and all sides needed to reach a mutual agreement when creating or passing laws, adjusting or implementing taxes, or changing religious doctrines. This was significant: the monarch no longer had sole control over the country. For instance, during the later years of
Mary Mary may refer to: People * Mary (name) Mary is a feminine Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women and girls. Although femininity is socially constru ...

Mary
, Parliament exercised its authority in originally rejecting Mary's bid to revive Catholicism in the realm. Later on, the legislative body even denied
Elizabeth Elizabeth or Elisabeth may refer to: People * Elizabeth (given name), a female given name (including people with that name) * Elizabeth (biblical figure), mother of John the Baptist Ships * HMS Elizabeth, HMS ''Elizabeth'', several ships * Elisab ...

Elizabeth
her request to marry . If Parliament had possessed this power before Cromwell, such as when Wolsey served as secretary, the Reformation may never have happened, as the king would have had to gain the consent of all parliament members before so drastically changing the country's religious laws and fundamental identity . The power of Parliament increased considerably after the
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independenc ...
. It also provided the country with unprecedented stability. More stability, in turn, helped assure more effective management, organisation, and efficiency. Parliament printed statutes and devised a more coherent
parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the accepted rules Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social grou ...
. The rise of Parliament proved especially important in the sense that it limited the repercussions of dynastic complications that had so often plunged England into civil war. Parliament still ran the country even in the absence of suitable heirs to the throne, and its legitimacy as a decision-making body reduced the royal prerogatives of kings like Henry VIII and the importance of their whims. For example, Henry VIII could not simply establish supremacy by proclamation; he required Parliament to enforce statutes and add felonies and treasons. An important liberty for Parliament was its freedom of speech; Henry allowed anything to be spoken openly within Parliament and speakers could not face arrest – a fact which they exploited incessantly. Nevertheless, Parliament in Henry VIII's time offered up very little objection to the monarch's desires. Under his and
Edward Edward is an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World ...

Edward
's reign, the legislative body complied willingly with the majority of the kings' decisions. Much of this compliance stemmed from how the English viewed and traditionally understood authority. As Williams described it, "King and parliament were not separate entities, but a single body, of which the monarch was the senior partner and the Lords and the Commons the lesser, but still essential, members."


Importance of the Commonwealth years

Although its role in government expanded significantly during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, the Parliament of England saw some of its most important gains in the 17th century. A series of conflicts between the Crown and Parliament culminated in the execution of
King Charles I of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg, Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen re ...

King Charles I
in 1649. Afterward, England became a
commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...
, with
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led of the against King during the , subsequently ruling the as from 1653 until his death i ...

Oliver Cromwell
, its lord protector, the de facto ruler. Frustrated with its decisions, Cromwell purged and suspended Parliament on several occasions. A controversial figure accused of despotism, war crimes, and even genocide, Cromwell is nonetheless regarded as essential to the growth of democracy in England. The years of the Commonwealth, coupled with the
restoration of the monarchy Restoration is the act of restoring something to its original state and may refer to: * Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage * Restoration style Film and television * The Restoration (1909 film), ''The Restoration'' (1909 film), a f ...
in 1660 and the subsequent
Glorious Revolution of 1688 The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), is also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch. It refers to the deposition of Ja ...
, helped reinforce and strengthen Parliament as an institution separate from the Crown.


Acts of Union

The Parliament of England met until it merged with the
Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign ...
under the
Acts of UnionAct of Union may refer to: In Great Britain and Ireland * Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, passed during the reign of King Henry VIII to make Wales a part of the Kingdom of England (These laws are often referred to in the plural as the "Acts of Un ...
. This union created the new
Parliament of Great Britain The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of UnionAct of Union may refer to: In Great Britain and Ireland * Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, passed during the reign of King Henry VIII to ma ...
in 1707.


France

Originally, there was only the
Parliament of Paris In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of socia ...
, born out of the Curia Regis in 1307, and located inside the medieval royal palace, now the Paris Hall of Justice. The jurisdiction of the ''Parliament'' of Paris covered the entire kingdom. In the thirteenth century, judicial functions were added. In 1443, following the turmoil of the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
, King
Charles VII of France Charles VII (22 February 1403 – 22 July 1461), called the Victorious (french: le Victorieux) or the Well-Served (french: le Bien-Servi), was List of French monarchs, King of France from 1422 to his death in 1461. In the midst of the Hundred Yea ...

Charles VII of France
granted
Languedoc Languedoc (; , ; oc, Lengadòc ) is a former province of France The Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) was a medieval and early modern monarchy ...

Languedoc
its own ''parliament'' by establishing the ''Parliament'' of
Toulouse Toulouse ( , ; oc, Tolosa ) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...

Toulouse
, the first ''parliament'' outside of Paris, whose jurisdiction extended over the most part of southern France. From 1443 until the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
several other ''parliaments'' were created in some provinces of France (
Grenoble Grenoble ( , ; , ''Grainóvol'', oc, Graçanòbol, ''Grasanòbol'') is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. ...

Grenoble
,
Bordeaux Bordeaux ( , ; Gascon language, Gascon oc, Bordèu ) is a port city on the river Garonne in the Gironde Departments of France, department in Southwestern France. The municipality (Communes of France, commune) of Bordeaux proper has a popula ...

Bordeaux
). All the ''parliaments'' could issue regulatory decrees for the application of royal edicts or of customary practices; they could also refuse to register laws that they judged contrary to fundamental law or simply as being untimely. Parliamentary power in France was suppressed more so than in England as a result of absolutism, and parliaments were eventually overshadowed by the larger Estates General, up until the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
, when the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliam ...
became the lower house of France's bicameral legislature.


Germanic and Nordic countries

A ''
thing Thing or The Thing may refer to: Philosophy * An object (philosophy), object, being, or entity * Thing-in-itself (or ''noumenon''), the reality that underlies perceptions, a term coined by Immanuel Kant * Thing theory, a branch of critical the ...
'' or ''ting'' (
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
and is, þing; other modern
Scandinavian A Scandinavian is a resident of Scandinavia or something associated with the region, including: Culture * Scandinavianism, political and cultural movement * Scandinavian design, a design movement of the 1950s * Scandinavian folklore * Scandinavia ...
: ''ting'', ''ding'' in
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
) was the governing assembly in
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...
societies, made up of the free men of the community and presided by
lawspeaker A lawspeaker or lawman ( Swedish: ''lagman'', Old Swedish: ''laghmaþer'' or ''laghman'', Danish: ''lovsigemand'', Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe ...
s. The thing was the assembly of the free men of a country, province or a
hundred 100 or one hundred (Roman numerals, Roman numeral: C) is the natural number following 99 (number), 99 and preceding 101 (number), 101. In medieval contexts, it may be described as the short hundred or five 20 (number), score in order to differenti ...
''(hundare/härad/herred)''. There were consequently, hierarchies of things, so that the local things were represented at the thing for a larger area, for a province or land. At the thing, disputes were solved and political decisions were made. The place for the thing was often also the place for public religious rites and for commerce. The thing met at regular intervals, legislated, elected chieftains and Germanic king, kings, and judged according to the law, which was memorised and recited by the "law speaker" (the judge). The Icelandic, Faroese and Manx parliaments trace their origins back to the Viking expansion originating from the Petty kingdoms of Norway as well as Denmark, replicating Viking government systems in the conquered territories, such as those represented by the Gulating near Bergen in western Norway. * The Icelandic Althing, dating to 930. * The Faroese Løgting, dating to a similar period. * The Manx Tynwald, which claims to be over 1,000 years old. Later national diets with chambers for different estates developed, e.g. in Sweden and in Finland (which was part of Sweden until 1809), each with a Swedish House of Nobility, House of Knights for the nobility. In both these countries, the national parliaments are now called Riksdag of the Estates, riksdag (in Finland also ''eduskunta''), a word used since the Middle Ages and equivalent of the German word Reichstag (disambiguation), Reichstag. Today the term lives on in the official names of national legislatures, political and judicial institutions in the North-Germanic countries. In the Yorkshire and former Danelaw areas of England, which were subject to much Norse invasion and settlement, the wapentake was another name for the same institution.


Italy

The Sicilian Parliament, dating to 1097, evolved as the legislature of the Kingdom of Sicily.


Hungary

The Diet of Hungary, or originally Parlamentum Publicum and Parlamentum Generale ( hu, Országgyűlés), became the supreme legislative institution in the Kingdom of Hungary in the Middle Ages, medieval kingdom of Hungary from the 1290s, and in its successor states, Royal Hungary and the Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen, Habsburg kingdom of Hungary throughout the Early Modern period. The name of the legislative body was originally "Parlamentum" during the Middle Ages, the "Diet" expression gained mostly in the Early Modern period. It convened at regular intervals with interruptions during the period of 1527 to 1918, and again until 1946. Some researchers have traced the roots of the Hungarian institution of national assemblies as far back as the 11th century. This based on documentary evidence that, on certain "important occasions" under the reigns of Ladislaus I of Hungary, King Ladislaus I and Coloman of Hungary, King Coloman "the Learned", assemblies were held on a national scale where both ecclesiastic and secular dignitaries made appearances. The first exact written mention of the word "parlamentum" (Parliament) for the nation-wide assembly originated during the reign of Andrew II of Hungary, King Andrew II in the Golden Bull of 1222, which reaffirmed the rights of the smaller nobles of the old and new classes of royal servants (servientes regis) against both the crown and the magnates, and to defend the rights of the whole nation against the crown by restricting the powers of the latter in certain fields and legalizing refusal to obey its unlawful/unconstitutional commands (the "''ius resistendi''"). The lesser nobles also began to present Andrew with grievances, a practice that evolved into the institution of the Hungarian Diet. An institutionalized Hungarian parliament emerged during the 14th and 15th centuries. Beginning under Charles I of Hungary, King Charles I, continuing under subsequent kings through into the reign of Matthias Corvinus, King Matthias I, the Diet was essentially convened by the king. However, under the rule of heavy handed kings like Louis the Great and during reign of the early absolutist Matthias Corvinus the parliaments were often convened to announce the royal decisions, and had no significant power of its own. Since the reign of the Jagiellonian dynasty, the parliament has regained most of its former power.


Poland

According to the ''Chronicles'' of Gallus Anonymus, the first legendary Polish ruler, Siemowit, who began the Piast dynasty, was chosen by an ancient ''Veche, wiec'' council. The idea of the ''wiec'' led to the development of the Polish parliament, the ''Sejm'', in around 1180. The term "sejm" comes from an old Polish expression denoting a meeting of the populace. The power of early sejms grew between 1146–1295, when the power of individual rulers waned and various councils grew stronger. Since the 14th century irregular sejms (described in various Latin sources as ''contentio generalis, conventio magna, conventio solemna, parlamentum, parlamentum generale, dieta'') have been convened by Poland's monarchs. From 1374, the king had to receive permission from that assembly to raise taxes and the 1454 Nieszawa Statutes granted the szlachta (nobles) unprecedented concessions and authority. The General Sejm (Polish ''sejm generalny'' or ''sejm walny''), first convoked by the John I Albert in 1493 near Piotrków Trybunalski, Piotrków, evolved from earlier regional and provincial meetings called ''sejmiks''. Simultaneously, the Senate of Poland, Senate was founded on the earlier ''
curia regis ''Curia regis'' () is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...
'', convened at the king's discretion. Hence, the year 1493 marked the beginning of a Bicameral parliament, bicameral legislative body of government. With the subsequent development of Polish Golden Liberty in the next several decades, the Sejm's powers systematically increased. Poland was among the few countries in Europe where the parliament played an especially important role in its national identity as it contributed to the unity of the nation and the state. The general parliament of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth consisted of three estates – the King of Poland, the Senate (consisting of Ministers, Palatines, Castellans and Roman Catholic Bishops) and the Chamber of Envoys comprising 170 nobles acting on behalf of their holdings as well as representatives of major cities, who did not possess any voting privileges. In 1573, a convocation sejm established an Royal elections in Poland, elective monarchy in the Commonwealth.


Portugal

After its self-proclamation as an independent kingdom in 1139 by Afonso I of Portugal (followed by the recognition by the Kingdom of León in the Treaty of Zamora of 1143), the first historically established Cortes of the Kingdom of Portugal occurred in 1211 in Coimbra by initiative of Afonso II of Portugal. These established the first general laws of the kingdom (''Leis Gerais do Reino''): protection of the king's property, stipulation of measures for the administration of justice and the rights of his subjects to be protected from abuses by royal officials, and confirming the clerical donations of the previous king Sancho I of Portugal. These Cortes also affirmed the validity of canon law for the Church in Portugal, while introducing the prohibition of the purchase of lands by churches or monasteries (although they can be acquired by donations and legacies). After the conquest of Algarve in 1249, the Kingdom of Portugal completed its Reconquista. In 1254 King Afonso III of Portugal summoned Portuguese Cortes in Leiria, with the inclusion of bourgeoisie, burghers from old and newly incorporated municipalities. This inclusion establishes the Cortes of Leiria of 1254 as the second sample of modern parliamentarism in the history of Europe (after the Cortes of León in 1188). In these Cortes the monetagio was introduced: a fixed sum was to be paid by the burghers to the Crown as a substitute for the septennium (the traditional revision of the face value of coinage by the Crown every seven years). These Cortes also introduced Staple staple laws on the Douro River, favoring the new royal city of Vila Nova de Gaia at the expense of the old episcopal city of Porto. The Portuguese Cortes met again under King Afonso III of Portugal in 1256, 1261 and 1273, always by royal summon. Medieval Kings of Portugal continued to rely on small assemblies of notables, and only summoned the full Cortes on extraordinary occasions. A Cortes would be called if the king wanted to introduce new taxes, change some fundamental laws, announce significant shifts in foreign policy (e.g. ratify treaties), or settle matters of royal succession, issues where the cooperation and assent of the towns was thought necessary. Changing taxation (especially requesting war subsidies), was probably the most frequent reason for convening the Cortes. As the nobles and clergy were largely tax-exempt, setting taxation involved intensive negotiations between the royal council and the bourgeoisie, burgher delegates at the Cortes. Delegates (''procuradores'') not only considered the king's proposals, but, in turn, also used the Cortes to submit petitions of their own to the royal council on a myriad of matters, e.g. extending and confirming town privileges, punishing abuses of officials, introducing new price controls, constraints on Jews, pledges on coinage, etc. The royal response to these petitions became enshrined as ordinances and statutes, thus giving the Cortes the aspect of a legislature. These petitions were originally referred to as ''aggravamentos'' (grievances) then ''artigos'' (articles) and eventually ''capitulos'' (chapters). In a Cortes-Gerais, petitions were discussed and voted upon separately by each estate and required the approval of at least two of the three estates before being passed up to the royal council. The proposal was then subject to royal veto (either accepted or rejected by the king in its entirety) before becoming law. Nonetheless, the exact extent of Cortes power was ambiguous. Kings insisted on their ancient prerogative to promulgate laws independently of the Cortes. The compromise, in theory, was that ordinances enacted in Cortes could only be modified or repealed by Cortes. But even that principle was often circumvented or ignored in practice. The Cortes probably had their heyday in the 14th and 15th centuries, reaching their apex when John I of Portugal relied almost wholly upon the bourgeoisie for his power. For a period after the 1383–1385 Crisis, the Cortes were convened almost annually. But as time went on, they became less important. Portuguese monarchs, tapping into the riches of the Portuguese empire overseas, grew less dependent on Cortes subsidies and convened them less frequently. John II of Portugal, John II (r.1481-1495) used them to break the high nobility, but dispensed with them otherwise. Manuel I of Portugal, Manuel I (r.1495-1521) convened them only four times in his long reign. By the time of Sebastian of Portugal, Sebastian (r.1554–1578), the Cortes was practically an irrelevance. Curiously, the Cortes gained a new importance with the Iberian Union of 1581, finding a role as the representative of Portuguese interests to the new Habsburg monarch. The Cortes played a critical role in the 1640 Restoration, and enjoyed a brief period of resurgence during the reign of John IV of Portugal (r.1640-1656). But by the end of the 17th century, it found itself sidelined once again. The last Cortes met in 1698, for the mere formality of confirming the appointment of Infante John (future John V of Portugal) as the successor of Peter II of Portugal. Thereafter, Portuguese kings ruled as absolute monarchs and no Cortes were assembled for over a century. This state of affairs came to an end with the Liberal Revolution of 1820, which set in motion the introduction of a new constitution, and a permanent and proper parliament, that however inherited the name of Cortes Gerais.


Russia and Ukraine

The Zemsky Sobor, zemsky sobor (Russian: зе́мский собо́р) was the first Russian parliament of the feudal Estates type, in the 16th and 17th centuries. The term roughly means assembly of the land. It could be summoned either by Tsardom of Russia, tsar, or Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus', patriarch, or the Boyar Duma. Three categories of population, comparable to the Estates-General of France but with the numbering of the first two Estates reversed, participated in the assembly: * Nobility and high bureaucracy, including the Boyar Duma * The Holy Sobor of high Russian Orthodox Church, Orthodox clergy * Representatives of merchants and townspeople (third estate) The name of the parliament of nowadays Russian Federation is the Federal Assembly of Russia. The term for its lower house, State Duma (which is better known than the Federal Assembly itself, and is often mistaken for the entirety of the parliament) comes from the Russian word ''думать'' (''dumat''), "to think". The Boyar Duma was an advisory council to the grand princes and tsars of Tsardom of Russia, Muscovy. The Duma was discontinued by Peter I of Russia, Peter the Great, who transferred its functions to the Governing Senate in 1711. In present-day Ukraine, the Sich Rada (council) was an institution of Zaporizhian Cossacks, Cossack administration from the 16th to the 18th century. With the establishment of the Hetmanate in 1648, it was officially known as the General Military Council until 1750.


Novgorod and Pskov

The ''veche'' was the highest legislature and judicial authority in the republic of Novgorod Republic, Novgorod until 1478. In its sister state, Pskov Republic, Pskov, a separate veche operated until 1510. Since the Novgorod revolution of 1137 ousted the ruling grand prince, the veche became the supreme state authority. After the reforms of 1410, the veche was restructured on a model similar to that of Venice, becoming the Commons chamber of the parliament. An upper Senate-like Council of Lords was also created, with title membership for all former city magistrates. Some sources indicate that veche membership may have become full-time, and parliament deputies were now called ''vechniks''. It is recounted that the Novgorod assembly could be summoned by anyone who rung the veche bell (instrument), bell, although it is more likely that the common procedure was more complex. This bell was a symbol of republican sovereignty and independence. The whole population of the city—boyars, merchants, and common citizens—then gathered at Yaroslav's Court. Separate assemblies could be held in the districts of Novgorod. In Pskov the veche assembled in the court of the Trinity Cathedral in Pskov, Trinity cathedral.


Roman Catholic Church

"Conciliarism" or the "conciliar movement", was a reform movement in the 14th and 15th century Roman Catholic Church which held that final authority in spiritual matters resided with the Roman Church as corporation of Christians, embodied by a Ecumenical council, general church council, not with the pope. In effect, the movement sought – ultimately, in vain – to create an All-Catholic Parliament. Its struggle with the Papacy had many points in common with the struggle of parliaments in specific countries against the authority of Kings and other secular rulers.


Scotland

From the 10th century the Kingdom of Alba was ruled by chiefs (''Taoiseach, toisechs'') and subkings (''mormaers'') under the suzerainty, real or nominal, of a High King. Popular assemblies, as in Ireland, were involved in law-making, and sometimes in king-making, although the introduction of tanistry—naming a successor in the lifetime of a king—made the second less than common. These early assemblies cannot be considered "parliaments" in the later sense of the word, and were entirely separate from the later, Norman-influenced, institution. The
Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign ...
evolved during the Middle Ages from the King's Council of Bishops and Earls. The unicameral parliament is first found on record, referred to as a ''Parliament of Scotland, colloquium'', in 1235 at Kirkliston (a village now in Edinburgh). By the early fourteenth century the attendance of knights and freehold (law), freeholders had become important, and from 1326 burgh commissioners attended. Consisting of the Three Estates; of clerics, lay tenant-in-chief, tenants-in-chief and burgh commissioners sitting in a single chamber, the Scottish parliament acquired significant powers over particular issues. Most obviously it was needed for consent for
taxation A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or Legal person, legal entity) by a governmental organization in order to fund government spending and various public expenditures (regional, ...
(although taxation was only raised irregularly in Scotland in the medieval period), but it also had a strong influence over justice, foreign policy, war, and all manner of other legislation, whether political, ecclesiastical, social or economic. Parliamentary business was also carried out by "sister" institutions, before c. 1500 by General Council (Scotland), General Council and thereafter by the Convention of Estates. These could carry out much business also dealt with by Parliament – taxation, legislation and policy-making – but lacked the ultimate authority of a full parliament. The parliament, which is also referred to as the Estates of Scotland, the Three Estates, the Scots Parliament or the auld Scots Parliament (English language, Eng: ''old''), met until the
Acts of UnionAct of Union may refer to: In Great Britain and Ireland * Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, passed during the reign of King Henry VIII to make Wales a part of the Kingdom of England (These laws are often referred to in the plural as the "Acts of Un ...
merged the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England, creating the new
Parliament of Great Britain The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of UnionAct of Union may refer to: In Great Britain and Ireland * Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, passed during the reign of King Henry VIII to ma ...
in 1707. Following the 1997 Scottish devolution referendum, and the passing of the Scotland Act 1998 by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Scottish Parliament was reconvened on 1 July 1999, although with much more limited powers than its 18th-century predecessor. The parliament has sat since 2004 at its newly constructed Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh, situated at the foot of the Royal Mile, next to the royal palace of Holyroodhouse.


Spain

Although there are documented councils held in 873, 1020, 1050 and 1063, there was no representation of commoners. What is considered to be the first parliament (with the presence of commoners), the Cortes of León, was held in the Kingdom of León in 1188. According to the UNESCO, the Decreta of Leon of 1188 is the oldest documentary manifestation of the European parliamentary system. In addition, UNESCO granted the 1188 Cortes of Alfonso IX the title of "Memory of the World" and the city of León, Spain, Leon has been recognized as the "Cradle of Parliamentarism". After coming to power, King Alfonso IX, facing an attack by his two neighbors, Kingdom of Castile, Castile and Portugal, decided to summon the "Royal Curia". This was a medieval organization composed of aristocrats and bishops but because of the seriousness of the situation and the need to maximize political support, Alfonso IX took the decision to also call the representatives of the urban middle class from the most important cities of the kingdom to the assembly. León's Cortes dealt with matters like the right to private property, the inviolability of domicile, the right to appeal to justice opposite the King and the obligation of the King to consult the Cortes before entering a war. Prelates, nobles and commoners met separately in the three estates of the Cortes. In this meeting, new laws were approved to protect commoners against the arbitrarities of nobles, prelates and the king. This important set of laws is known as the ''Carta Magna Leonesa''. Following this event, new Cortes would appear in the other different territories that would make up Spain: Principality of Catalonia in 1192, the Kingdom of Castile in 1250, Kingdom of Aragon in 1274, Kingdom of Valencia in 1283 and Kingdom of Navarre in 1300. After the union of the Kingdoms of Leon and Castile under the Crown of Castile, their Cortes were united as well in 1258. The Castilian Cortes had representatives from Burgos, Toledo, León, Seville, Córdoba, Murcia, Jaén, Zamora, Segovia, Ávila, Salamanca, Cuenca, Toro, Valladolid, Soria, Madrid, Guadalajara and Granada (after 1492). The Cortes' assent was required to pass new taxes, and could also advise the king on other matters. The Revolt of the Comuneros, comunero rebels intended a stronger role for the Cortes, but were defeated by the forces of Habsburg Spain, Habsburg Emperor Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V in 1521. The Cortes maintained some power, however, though it became more of a consultative entity. However, by the time of Philip II of Spain, King Philip II, Charles's son, the Castilian Cortes had come under functionally complete royal control, with its delegates dependent on the Crown for their income. The Cortes of the Crown of Aragon kingdoms retained their power to control the king's spending with regard to the finances of those kingdoms. But after the War of the Spanish Succession and the victory of another royal house – the House of Bourbon, Bourbons – and King Philip V of Spain, Philip V, their Cortes were suppressed (those of Aragon and Valencia, Spain, Valencia in 1707, and those of Catalonia and the Balearic islands in 1714). The very first Cortes representing the whole of Spain (and the Spanish empire of the day) assembled in 1812, in Cadiz, where it operated as a government in exile as at that time most of the rest of Spain was in the hands of Napoleon's army.


Switzerland

The Federal Diet of Switzerland was one of the longest-lived representative bodies in history, continuing from the 13th century to 1848.


Development of modern parliaments

The development of the modern concept of parliamentary government dates back to the Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1800).


United Kingdom

The British Parliament is often referred to as the ''Mother of Parliaments'' (in fact a misquotation of John Bright, who remarked in 1865 that "England is the Mother of Parliaments") because the Parliament of the United Kingdom, British Parliament has been the model for most other parliamentary systems, and its Act of Parliament, Acts have created many other parliaments. Many nations with parliaments have to some degree emulated the British "three-tier" model known as the Westminster system. Most countries in Europe and the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth have similarly organised parliaments with a largely ceremonial head of state who formally opens and closes parliament, a large elected lower house and a smaller, upper house. The
Parliament of Great Britain The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of UnionAct of Union may refer to: In Great Britain and Ireland * Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, passed during the reign of King Henry VIII to ma ...
was formed in 1707 by the
Acts of UnionAct of Union may refer to: In Great Britain and Ireland * Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, passed during the reign of King Henry VIII to make Wales a part of the Kingdom of England (These laws are often referred to in the plural as the "Acts of Un ...
that replaced the former parliaments of England and Parliament of Scotland, Scotland. A Acts of Union 1800, further union in 1801 united the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland into a Parliament of the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, Parliament consists of the British House of Commons, House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the Monarch. The House of Commons is composed of 650 (soon to be 600) members who are directly elected by British citizens to represent single-member constituencies. The leader of a Party that wins more than half the seats, or less than half but is able to gain the support of smaller parties to achieve a majority in the house is invited by the Monarch to form a government. The House of Lords is a body of long-serving, unelected members: Lords Temporal – 92 of whom inherit their titles (and of whom 90 are elected internally by members of the House to lifetime seats), 588 of whom have been appointed to lifetime seats, and Lords Spiritual – 26 bishops, who are part of the house while they remain in office. Legislation can originate from either the Lords or the Commons. It is voted on in several distinct stages, called reading (legislature), readings, in each house. First reading is merely a formality. Second reading is where the bill as a whole is considered. Third reading is detailed consideration of clauses of the bill. In addition to the three readings a bill also goes through a committee stage where it is considered in great detail. Once the bill has been passed by one house it goes to the other and essentially repeats the process. If after the two sets of readings there are disagreements between the versions that the two houses passed it is returned to the first house for consideration of the amendments made by the second. If it passes through the amendment stage Royal Assent is granted and the bill becomes law as an Act of Parliament. The House of Lords is the less powerful of the two houses as a result of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949. These Acts removed the veto power of the Lords over a great deal of legislation. If a bill is certified by the Speaker of the House of Commons (United Kingdom), Speaker of the House of Commons as a money bill (i.e. acts raising taxes and similar) then the Lords can only block it for a month. If an ordinary bill originates in the Commons the Lords can only block it for a maximum of one session of Parliament. The exceptions to this rule are things like bills to prolong the life of a Parliament beyond five years. In addition to functioning as the second chamber of Parliament, the House of Lords was also the final court of appeal for much of the law of the United Kingdom—a combination of judicial and legislative function that recalls its origin in the Curia Regis. This changed in October 2009 when the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom opened and acquired the former jurisdiction of the House of Lords. Since 1999, there has been a Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, and, since 2020, a Senedd—or Welsh Parliament—in Cardiff. However, these national, unicameral legislatures do not have complete power over their respective countries of the United Kingdom, holding only those powers devolved to them by Westminster from 1997. They cannot legislate on defence issues, currency, or national taxation (e.g. VAT, or Income Tax). Additionally, the bodies can be theoretically dissolved, at any given time, by the British Parliament without the consent of the devolved government.


Sweden

In Sweden, the half-century period of parliamentary government beginning with Charles XII's death in 1718 and ending with Gustav III of Sweden, Gustav III's self-coup in 1772 is known as the Age of Liberty. During this period, civil rights were expanded and power shifted from the monarch to parliament. While suffrage did not become universal, the taxed peasantry was represented in Parliament, although with little influence and commoners without taxed property had no suffrage at all.


Poland

Changes in Poland’s internal situation in the 1980s led to the Round Table Talks which ended in the signing of the famous Round Table Agreement on 5 April 1989. The Agreement spearheaded the evolutionary transformation of the country’s political system; independence was regained once again. The document Position on Political Reforms provided grounds for amending the Constitution. The amended Constitution restored the office of the President of the Polish People’s Republic and the Senate – both to be elected in free and democratic elections. In the Sejm, the opposition was allocated 35% of the mandates. Thus the so called “contract” elections could not be fully democratic. The Sejm (first chamber) became superior to the Senate (second chamber). In addition, the institution of National Assembly was established, consisting of the Sejm and the Senate sitting jointly to elect the President of the Polish People’s Republic. A declaration of the Solidarity Citizens’ Committee heralded the prompt enactment of a new, democratic constitution and electoral law. As a result of Solidarity’s success in elections to the Sejm and the Senate, profound reforms of the political system were undertaken by adopting an amendment to the Constitution on 29 December 1989. In the Constitution, the Republic of Poland was defined as a democratic state ruled by law. As the provisional constitution lasted too long, it was decided to adopt a provisional regulation in the form of the so called Small Constitution. The President signed it on 17 October 1992. The Small Constitution regulated above all the relationship between the executive and legislative powers, on the basis of the doctrine of separation of powers. A bicameral parliament was maintained. After long years of legislative work, on 2 April 1997, the National Assembly adopted The Constitution of the Republic of Poland. It entered into force on 17 October 1997. The new Constitution introduced a “rationalised” parliamentary-cabinet system in Poland. It is the first Constitution of the Third Republic. That was the first Constitution of the Third Republic. The act defined the position of the Sejm and the Senate within the system without using the term “parliament”. It adopted the doctrine of separation of powers, which provided for a balance between the legislative and executive powers. In practice the binding provisions of the Constitution ensure the supremacy of the legislative power. Both chambers are autonomous bodies, independent of each other, with their own powers. The Constitution retained the principle of bicameralism of the legislature. The Sejm and the Senate sitting jointly constitute the National Assembly. Characteristically, the new Constitution conferred very extensive powers on the Sejm. On the other hand, the powers of the Senate are limited, as in the Constitutions of 1921 and 1992.


Parliamentary system

Many parliaments are part of a
parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
of government, in which the executive branch, executive is constitutionally answerable to the parliament from the genetic moment of the birth of Government (Motion of confidence), to the final moment of his termination (Motion of no confidence), through all the commitments that can be added to the Confidence and supply, government contract from time to time through Motion (parliamentary procedure), motions and Resolution (law), resolutions. Some restrict the use of the word ''parliament'' to parliamentary systems, while others use the word for any elected legislative body. Parliaments usually consist of ''Chambers of parliament, chambers'' or ''houses'', and are usually either bicameralism, bicameral or unicameralism, unicameral although more complex models exist, or have existed (''see Tricameralism''). In some parliamentary systems, the prime minister is a member of the parliament (e.g. Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in the United Kingdom), whereas in others they are not (e.g. Prime Minister of the Netherlands, in the Netherlands). They are commonly the leader of the majority party in the lower house of parliament, but only hold the office as long as the "confidence of the house" is maintained. If members of the lower house lose faith in the leader for whatever reason, they can call a vote of no confidence and force the prime minister to resign. This can be particularly dangerous to a government when the distribution of seats among different parties is relatively even, in which case a new election is often called shortly thereafter. However, in case of general discontent with the head of government, their replacement can be made very smoothly without all the complications that it represents in the case of a presidential system. The parliamentary system can be contrasted with a
presidential system A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, governmen ...
, such as the United States Congress, American congressional system, which operates under a stricter separation of powers, whereby the executive does not form part of, nor is it appointed by, the parliamentary or legislative body. In such a system, congresses do not select or dismiss head of government, heads of governments, and governments cannot request an early dissolution as may be the case for parliaments. Some states, such as France, have a semi-presidential system which falls between parliamentary and congressional systems, combining a powerful head of state (president) with a head of government, the prime minister, who is responsible to parliament.


Women in parliament

File:10% Share of women in parliament, OWID.svg, Greater than 10% File:20% Share of women in parliament, OWID.svg, Greater than 20% File:30% Share of women in parliament, OWID.svg, Greater than 30%


List of national parliaments


Parliaments of the European Union

* European Parliament * Parliament of Austria (consisting of the National Council (Austria), National Council and the Federal Council (Austria), Federal Council) * Belgian Federal Parliament (consisting of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium, Chamber of Representatives and the Senate of Belgium, Senate) * National Assembly of Bulgaria * Croatian Parliament * House of Representatives of Cyprus, House of Representatives (Cyprus) * Parliament of the Czech Republic (consisting of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic, Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Czech Republic, Senate) * Folketing (Denmark) * Riigikogu (Estonia) * Parliament of Finland (Eduskunta) * Parliament of France (consisting of the French National Assembly, National Assembly and the Senate of France, Senate) * Bundestag and Bundesrat of Germany, Bundesrat (Germany) * Hellenic Parliament (Greece) * National Assembly of Hungary, National Assembly (Hungary) * Oireachtas (Ireland) (consisting of the President of the Republic of Ireland, President of Ireland, Dáil Éireann (Lower House) and Seanad Éireann (Senate)) * Parliament of Italy (consisting of the Chamber of Deputies (Italy), Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic (Italy), Senate) * Saeima (Latvia) * Seimas (Lithuania) * Chamber of Deputies of Luxembourg, Chamber of Deputies (Luxembourg) * House of Representatives of Malta, House of Representatives (Malta) * States General of the Netherlands (consisting of the House of Representatives (Netherlands), House of Representatives and the Senate (Netherlands), Senate) * National Assembly of the Republic of Poland (consisting of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, Sejm and the Senate of the Republic of Poland, Senate) * Assembly of the Republic of Portugal, Assembly of the Republic (Portugal) * Parliament of Romania (consisting of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania, Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of Romania, Senate) * National Council of the Slovak Republic, National Council (Slovakia) * Parliament of Slovenia (consisting of the National Assembly (Slovenia), National Assembly and the National Council (Slovenia), National Council) * Cortes Generales (Spain) (consisting of the Congress of Deputies of Spain, Congress of Deputies and the Senate of Spain, Senate) * Riksdag (Sweden)


Others

* Parliament of Albania * Parliament of Australia (consisting of the Monarchy of Australia, Queen, the Australian House of Representatives, House of Representatives, and the Australian Senate, Senate) ** The federal government of the Commonwealth of Australia has a bicameral parliament and each of States and territories of Australia, Australia's six states has a bicameral parliament except for Queensland, which has a unicameral parliament. * Parliament of The Bahamas * Jatiya Sangsad (Bangladesh) * Parliament of Barbados * Parliament of Canada (consisting of the Monarchy of Canada, Queen, an Upper House styled the Senate of Canada, Senate, and the House of Commons of Canada, House of Commons) ** The federal government of Canada has a bicameral parliament, and each of Provinces of Canada, Canada's 10 provinces has a unicameral parliament. * National People's Congress, National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China * Løgtingið (Faroe Islands) * Parliament of Fiji *
Parliament of Ghana The Parliament of Ghana is the Legislature, legislative body of the Government of Ghana. History Legislative representation in Ghana dates back to 1850, when the country was a British colony known as Gold Coast (British colony), Gold Coast. The ...
* States of Deliberation of Guernsey * Legislative Council of Hong Kong * Althing, Alþing (Parliament of Iceland) - Oldest surviving parliament * Parliament of India (consisting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha) * People's Consultative Assembly of Indonesia (consisting of the People's Representative Council and the Regional Representative Council) * Council of Representatives of Iraq * National Diet of Japan (consisting of the House of Representatives (Japan), House of Representatives and the House of Councillors (Japan), House of Councillors) * States Assembly of Jersey * Parliament of Lebanon * Tynwald of the Isle of Man * Parliament of Malaysia * Parliament of Montenegro * Parliament of Morocco * Parliament of Nauru * Parliament of Nepal (recently reorganised) * Parliament of New Zealand (consisting of the Queen of New Zealand, Queen and NZ House of Representatives, House of Representatives) * Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia * Parliament of Norway (''Storting'') * Majlis-e-Shoora, Pakistan * National Assembly of Serbia * Parliament of Singapore * Parliament of South Africa * National Assembly of South Korea * Parliament of Sri Lanka * Legislative Yuan of Taiwan * National Assembly of Thailand * Parliament of the Central Tibetan Administration * Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago * Grand National Assembly of Turkey * Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine * Parliament of Zimbabwe


List of subnational parliaments


Australia

Australia's States and territories: *Parliament of New South Wales *Parliament of Victoria *Parliament of Queensland *Parliament of Western Australia *Parliament of South Australia *Parliament of Tasmania *Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly *Parliament of the Northern Territory


Belgium

In the federal (bicameral) kingdom of Belgium, there is a curious asymmetrical constellation serving as directly elected legislatures for three "territorial" ''regions''—Flanders (
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
), Brussels (bilingual, certain peculiarities of competence, also the only region not comprising any of the 10 provinces) and Wallonia (French)—and three cultural ''communities''—Flemish (Dutch, competent in Flanders and for the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Brussels), Francophone (French, for Wallonia and for Francophones in Brussels) and German (for speakers of that language in a few designated municipalities in the east of the Walloon Region, living alongside Francophones but under two different regimes): * Flemish Parliament serves both the Flemish Community and the region of Flanders (in all matters of regional competence, its decisions have no effect in Brussels-Capital Region) * Parliament of the French Community * Parliament of the German-speaking Community * Parliament of Wallonia * Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region (within the capital's regional assembly, however, there also exist two ''Community Commissions'', a Flemish Community Commission, Dutch-speaking one and a French Community Commission, Francophone one, for various matters split up by linguistic community but under Brussels' regional competence, and even "joint community commissions" consisting of both for certain institutions that could be split up but are not.


Brazil

* Legislative Assembly of Acre * Legislative Assembly of Alagoas * Legislative Assembly of Amapá * Legislative Assembly of Amazonas * Legislative Assembly of Bahia * Legislative Assembly of Ceará * Legislative Assembly of Espírito Santo * Legislative Assembly of Goiás * Legislative Assembly of Maranhão * Legislative Assembly of Mato Grosso * Legislative Assembly of Mato Grosso do Sul * Legislative Assembly of Minas Gerais * Legislative Assembly of Pará * Legislative Assembly of Paraíba * Legislative Assembly of Paraná * Legislative Assembly of Pernambuco * Legislative Assembly of Piauí * Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro * Legislative Assembly of Rio Grande do Norte * Legislative Assembly of Rio Grande do Sul * Legislative Assembly of Rondonia * Legislative Assembly of Roraima * Legislative Assembly of Santa Catarina * Legislative Assembly of Sergipe * Legislative Assembly of São Paulo * Legislative Assembly of Tocantins * Legislative Chamber of the Federal District


Canada

Canada's provinces and territories: *Legislature of Ontario, Parliament of Ontario *Quebec Legislature *General Assembly of Nova Scotia *New Brunswick Legislature *Manitoba Legislature *Parliament of British Columbia *General Assembly of Prince Edward Island *Saskatchewan Legislature *Alberta Legislature *General Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador *Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories *Yukon Legislative Assembly *Legislative Assembly of Nunavut


Denmark

* Inatsisartut * Løgting


Finland

* Åland


Germany

* Landtag#German Legislatures, State legislatures of Germany


India


Indian states and territorial legislative assemblies: * Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly * Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly * Assam Legislative Assembly * Bihar Legislative Assembly * Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly * Delhi Legislative Assembly * Goa Legislative Assembly * Gujarat Legislative Assembly * Haryana Legislative Assembly * Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly * Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly * Jharkhand Legislative Assembly * Karnataka Legislative Assembly * Kerala Legislative Assembly * Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly * Maharashtra Legislative Assembly * Manipur Legislative Assembly * Meghalaya Legislative Assembly * Mizoram Legislative Assembly * Nagaland Legislative Assembly * Odisha Legislative Assembly * Puducherry Legislative Assembly * Punjab Legislative Assembly * Rajasthan Legislative Assembly * Sikkim Legislative Assembly * Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly * Telangana Legislative Assembly * Tripura Legislative Assembly * Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly * Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly * West Bengal Legislative Assembly Indian states legislative councils: * Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council * Bihar Legislative Council * Karnataka Legislative Council * Maharashtra Legislative Council * Telangana Legislative Council * Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council


Malaysia


Netherlands

* States-Provincial


Norway


Philippines

* Bangsamoro Parliament, Parliament of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region


Spain


Sri Lanka

* Provincial Councils (Sri Lanka)


Switzerland


United Kingdom

* Northern Ireland Assembly * Scottish Parliament * Senedd (Welsh Parliament)


Other parliaments


Contemporary supranational parliaments

:''List is not exhaustive'' * Pan-African Parliament * Central American Parliament * Latin American Parliament * European Parliament


Equivalent national legislatures

* Majlis, e.g. in Iran * in Afghanistan: Wolesi Jirga (elected, legislative lower house) and Meshrano Jirga (mainly advisory, indirect representation); in special cases, e.g. as constituent assembly, a Loya Jirga * in Indonesia: People's Consultative Assembly, consists of People's Representative Council (elected, legislative lower house) and Regional Representative Council (elected, legislative upper house with limited powers)


Defunct

* Parliament of Southern Ireland (1921–1922) * People's Parliament (1940s) * Silesian Parliament (1922–1945) * Parliament of Northern Ireland (1921–1973) * Batasang Pambansa, Batasang Pambansâ (1978–1986) * National Assembly of the Republic of China (1913–2005)


See also

* Congress * Delegated legislation * Democratic mundialization * Government * History of democracy * Inter-Parliamentary Union * Legislation * Parliamentary procedure * Parliamentary records * Parliament of the World's Religions * List of current presidents of assembly


References


External links


The International Association of Business and Parliament (IABP) Scottish Scheme
*
United Kingdom Parliament
{{Authority control Legislatures Westminster system Parliamentary procedure