On Monday, June 15, the Magna Carta turns 800, and it is worthy of great celebration by freedom-loving people everywhere. This is the document that brought about a fundamental rethinking of the relationship between a king and his subjects. Up until that point, English Kings were the law. They could decide who lived and who died and take whatever they wanted.
The Magna Carta changed all that. It established the idea that there is a law that even kings and governments must obey. There could be no taxation without representation and no arbitrary taking of personal property by the government. In short, the Magna Carta was the starting point for all the "unalienable" rights that we now enjoy and led directly over time to our Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. In many ways, it was the cornerstone for the idea that we now describe as freedom.
Friday, June 12, 2015
June 15: the Magna Carta turns 800