The Magna Carta

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by ChurchBoy, Sep 7, 2003.

  1. ChurchBoy

    ChurchBoy
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    OK, I've had enough of the slave threads. Can someone speak on the writing of the Magna Carta?

    My questions:

    1) What does the document spell out?
    2) Why was it written?
    3) Who wrote it?
    4) Why is it so important?
     
  2. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Hi

    Will try to answer your Qs

    1. The document largely regulates the relationship between the King of England and his subjects, and in particular the barons

    2. It was written in 1215 largely because King John, having lost most of his family's land in France, was trying to lord it in tyrannical fashion over England (he even managed to upset the Pope long before Henry VIII); in particular, being short of money, he tried to extort it from his barons, who understandably were having none of this; there was a short sharp struggle which John lost, and they made him sign Magna Carta

    3. John had to sign it but the baron effectively drew it up

    4. It contains certain fundamental legal rights such as the right to trial by jury. Although initially these were largely for the benefit of the barons and burgesses, these were gradually extended to all. All common law jurisdictions such as Britain and the US, have inherited this right (unless of course you're a detainee at Guantanamo Bay :mad: )(Sorry, mods, bit of politics intruding there!). Also, one cantrace the beginning of Parliament and other legislatures here - since the king could not effectively raise revenue without the consent of the great and the good of the land, it became natural for these grandees to meet to approve the king's spending plans, beginning with DeMontforts Parliament of 1265 and then Edward I's Model Parliament of 1295. "No taxation without representation" - a phrase no doubt as dear to the American Patriot as it is to all today - was born in 1215 at Runnymede

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  3. Major B

    Major B
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  4. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Thanks, MajorB.

    The parliamentary bit is art 14. Trial by jury is in art 39

    You might want to try the Habeas Corpus Act 1679 as well (before Bush at your end and Blunkett (UK Home Secretary) at ours totally rip it up).

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  5. Daisy

    Daisy
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    King John was not a good man, he had his little ways
    Sometimes no one spoke to him for days and days and days.
    And men who came upon him when passing through the square
    Gave him a supercilious stare
    Or passed with noses in the air
    While poor King John stood dumbly there, blushing beneath his crown.

    King John was not a good man and no good friends had he.
    He stayed in every afternoon, but no one came to tea.
    And round about December, the cards upon his shelf
    Wishing him yule cheer
    And tidings in the coming year
    Were never from his near and dear, but only from himself.

    --A.A.Milne (from memory, such as it is)


    (someone hit me with the silly stick this morning)

    [ September 08, 2003, 10:44 AM: Message edited by: Daisy ]
     
  6. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    And we wonder why middle eastern nations (Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestinians et al) and African nations and SE Asian nations have NO concept of democracy and balk at what we propose.

    We've had 800 years to develop it. They haven't had 2 years yet.
     
  7. ChurchBoy

    ChurchBoy
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    Dr. Bob Griffin,

    You bring up an interesting point that's been on my mind for a while. In Islam there is no concept of separation of church and state. What if Iraq wants to set up a theocracy? Would the US allow it? If not, then the Iraqi people are not given the choice of self deterimination.
     
  8. ChurchBoy

    ChurchBoy
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    Here is a part of the Magna Carta:

    In the first place we have granted to God, and by this our present charter confirmed for us and our heirs forever that the English Church shall be free, and shall have her rights entire, and her liberties inviolate; and we will that it be thus observed; which is apparent from this that the freedom of elections, which is reckoned most important and very essential to the English Church, we, of our pure and unconstrained will, did grant, and did by our charter confirm and did obtain the ratification of the same from our lord, Pope Innocent III, before the quarrel arose between us and our barons: and this we will observe, and our will is that it be observed in good faith by our heirs forever. We have also granted to all freemen of our kingdom, for us and our heirs forever, all the underwritten liberties, to be had and held by them and their heirs, of us and our heirs forever.

    Hmm....These phrases have a familiar ring to them. I wonder how much influence the Magna Carta have in the writing of the US Constitution?
     
  9. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    Matt, there is only one non-Common Law jurisdiction in the United States. The State of Louisiana operates under the Code Napoleon (its territory was added to the US as part of the Louisiana Purchase) as adapted for use under the US Constitution. As for the Gitmo situation, a principle was established during one of the Hatian refugee crisis. This crisis occured IIRC during the mid 90s. The Hatians were taken off their leaky and in some cases half sunken boats and interned at Guantanamo Bay by US Naval and Coast Guard vessals. When they applied for asylum, the Courts found that the US Naval Base on Guantanamo Bay was on sovereign Cuban territory, held by the US under a perpetual lease. Hence, it is a Constitutional black hole. So, while the Base is under US control, it is not US territory for purposes of the application of Constutional rights and Federal civil laws. (How's that for a quick and dirty summation of pages of court opinion?)
    That being said, the way the matters are being handled there do not exhibit the best or highest traditions of American jurisprudence. Just because a course of action is expedient and can be legally taken, doesn't mean, it is the best course of action to take.
     
  10. The Galatian

    The Galatian
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    John was probably a much better king than he is generally given credit for.

    He comes off much better than his violent (and homosexual) brother, Richard the Lionheart.

    The Robin Hood legends pretty much ruined any chance of a good rep for him.
     

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