June 15 will be the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. This amazing document forced English King John to give up his oppressive lordship over the English people. The constitutional history of England, America and worldwide democracies began.
This incredible document, arguably the most influential in history (except the Bible), has been fundamental to the governance of both the English and American people - and most developing democracies.
In England, it recognized "man to have certain basic rights born with him" (not endowed by some mortal) - with parliament to be the supreme guarantor. In America, our constitutional republic was also hugely influenced by the Magna Carta, but our Constitution was interpreted as superior to both the executive and the Congress.
In both divergent interpretations, the grand rights, written on parchment, required firm enforcement mechanisms - the federal military and local police.
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We should be extremely proud and grateful for the revolutionary Magna Carta which introduced constitutional government and "freedom under law." Liberty, personal freedoms, property rights, representative government and democracy - all derive from the Magna Carta.
While enthusiastically celebrating the 800th anniversary of this incredible document, we all should vow as individuals to safeguard the freedoms we inherited.