If Democracy Had A Birth Date

1756 Words May 20th, 2016 8 Pages
If democracy had a birth date, it would be June 15, 1215. On that fateful day, on the meadow called Runnymede along the River Thames, English barons confronted a tyrannical King John to demand that their list of grievances be addressed. In the 63 clauses of the esteemed Magna Carta, the barons were largely concerned with protecting themselves from unjust taxes and defending their rights and privileges. However, the Magna Carta accomplished so much more. It established for the first time the principle that the king is not above the law. Also within the historical document are the core principles—the rule of law and the law of the land—that have resonated with nations in search of freedom and justice. In fact, nearly six centuries after King John conceded to the the barons’ demands, the Magna Carta provided both inspiration and justification for angry American colonists who demanded, in the Declaration of Independence, the individual liberties and established rights of their English birthright from King George III and Parliament. Though it was never originally intended to serve as a universal model for human rights, the Magna Carta evolved over the centuries to become the cornerstone of the U.S. Constitution, as its core principles of a limited representative government, rule of law, and due process of law are embedded in the historic document which governs the nation. The Magna Carta played a pivotal role in shaping the thinking of American colonists and served as both…
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