June 15, 2007

Gratuitous Historickal Posting (TM)

Since Robbo is temporarily offline, enjoying some well-earned r&r, I pick up the mantle of Gratuitous Historickal Posting for such an austere event as...

...the anniversary of Magna Carta!

On this day in 1215, King John of England affixed his royal seal to this legendary document. Also, known as Magna Carta Libertatum ("Great Charter of Freedoms"), this covenant between the crown and his subjects is considered one of the most important legal documents in Western history. Abuses by King John caused a revolt by nobles who compelled him to execute this recognition of rights for both noblemen and ordinary Englishmen. It established the principle that no one, including the king or a lawmaker, is above the law.


Many of the principles of the U.S. Constitution, including the acknowledged rights and liberties of the governed and the idea that it established the supreme law of the land, can be traced back to this historic document. The major difference between the two of course being that while Magna Carta is a charter of ancient liberties guaranteed by a king to his subjects; the Constitution of the United States is the establishment of a government by and for "We the People." Nevertheless our current system of government in the U.S. is immeasurably indebted to Magna Carta.

Happy 792nd Birthday!

Posted by Gary at June 15, 2007 02:45 PM | TrackBack

For a slightly twisted look at history (involving June 15th, but not the signing of Magna Carta per se) see "To Say Nothing of the Dog" by Connie Willis. You really should read "The Doomsday Book" (the one by Willis, not the original) first.

Posted by: Zendo Deb at June 15, 2007 09:16 PM