The English Bill of Rights, or "An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown," was passed by Parliament on 16 December 1689. It was a re-statement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1689 inviting them to become joint sovereigns of England. The Bill of Rights lays down limits on the powers of sovereign and sets out the rights of Parliament and rules for freedom of speech in Parliament, the requirement to regular elections to Parliament and the right to petition the monarch without fear of retribution. It also reestablished the liberty of Protestants bear arms for their defense and condemned James II of England for "causing several good subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when papists were both armed and employed contrary to law." The Bill of Rights is noteworthy for being the first political document to reflect the natural rights and political philosophy of renowned political philosopher John Locke, who would greatly influence Americas Founding Fathers a century later. In particular, it codified Lockes social contract theory, requiring monarchs to seek the consent of the people, who are represented in Parliament.
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