Simon de Montfort: Origins of Parliament

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  • Simon de Montfort
    • Summary
      • The barons tried to stop Henry III from ruling unjustly.
      • Henry reissued Magna Carta,  reaffirming the rights of the barons, on several occasions throughout his rule.
      • Simon de Montford was heavily involved in attempts to force the King to rule justly.
      • Simon de Montfort rebelled against the King and ruled the country for several months.
      • Simon invited the Commons to join Parliament for the first time.
      • After his death any changes made by Simon were removed by Henry III.
    • Background
      • Henry III
        • Henry made the same mistakes as John.
        • He lost two major wars with France and only listened to a few advisers.
        • Always short of money.
        • The barons took action before history could repeat itself with civil war.
        • Henry allowed a lot of foreigners to help him rule.
      • Simon de Montfort
        • Simon had a difficult relationship with Henry III.
        • Simon married the King's daughter, and Henry owed him a large dowry.
        • Henry put Simon on trial for his actions, but he was found innocent.
        • Simon was religious and known to keep his promises.
    • Provisions of Oxford
      • Stated that foreign member of the royal household should be banished and all castles should be held by Englishmen.
      • Gave the barons more power over decision making as the King would be held accountable for his actions.
      • The barons were divided and therefore King Henry refused to sign the Provisions.
      • The barons asked Simon de Montfort to lead an army against the King, which he won. Henry III and his son Edward were captured after the Battle of Lewes in 1264.
    • Parliament
      • January 1265- Simon invited representatives of the Commons to Parliament.
      • The representatives were allowed to voice their concerns in return of being taxed by the government.
      • Simon's actions meant that he is regarded as the 'Father of Parliament'.
      • Simon did this without consulting the barons, who were furious with him.
    • Significance
      • Symbol of democracy
        • The beginning of democratic principles.
      • Tax approval from Parliament
        • Future kings had to call Parliament to increase taxes, giving Parliament more power over the monarch.
      • The Commons
        • The first to include representatives of the country- knights, gentry and merchants, not just the nobility.
    • THEMES
      • Religion
        • Simon- a devout Christian.
      • Chance
        • Simon didn't know the impact his parliament would have. It was luck that Kings used it after his death.
      • Ideas
        • Simon had the idea that representatives from towns should represent the Commons in Parliament.
      • Role of the Individual
        • Simon lead the army against Henry and it was his actions that developed Parliament


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