City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which, like the House of Lords (the upper house), meets in the Palace of Westminster.
The House is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament (MPs). Members are elected to represent constituencies by first-past-the-post and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved.
A House of Commons of England evolved at some point in England during the 14th century, becoming the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707 and then assuming its current title after the political union with Ireland in the nineteenth century. The "United Kingdom" referred to was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1800, and became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after independence was given to the Irish Free State in 1922.
Under the Parliament Act 1911, the Lords' power to reject legislation was reduced to a delaying power. The Government is primarily responsible to the House of Commons and the prime minister stays in office only as long as he or she retains the support of a majority of its members.