The Influential Magna Carta

Our Constitution, the law of the land, the thing we live by everyday, taking 116 days to write, was influenced by a meeting in a meadow. Not even a fancy royal building. Just a plain meadow. So even though the Magna Carta was created in a meadow and made up of sixty three clauses and only three of those are still used in England today, the Magna Carta is very important. The most significant influence on the creation of the U.S. government is the Magna Carta because it ensures that Americans get protection from abuse of power which allows them to live their lives the way they want to.

King John signed the Magna Carta because he didn’t want a war to break out because of the Barons, a group of powerful English landowners, that were close to rebelling. King John was abusing his power. He was forcing heavy taxes onto the Barons, and taking away their property. Because of this, the Barons forced King John to sign the Magna Carta that recognized their rights and stopped the taxes unless there was approval from the Barons and members of the church.

The document stated that everyone, including the King is under the law. This limited his power, not allowing him to reign freely. This prevented him from ordering punishment or an arrest on a citizen without lawful judgement. In Clause 39 of the Magna Carta, it states that “No free man is to be arrested, or imprisoned, or disseised, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any other way ruined, nor will we go against him or send against him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

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” This means that no free man can be be wrongfully punished without a rightful decision from the law..This is where due process was first introduced. It began the development of this idea as we know it today. Ways due process influenced the Constitution is in the Bill of Rights, amendments four through eight and amendment fourteen. Due process is important because it ensures fair treatment under the law, makes sure established legal procedures are followed and that all of a person’s legal rights that are owed to them are respected. Another reason the Barons talked of rebellion, which then led to the creation of the Magna Carta, is their lack of individual rights.

King John took everything from the people including their money and property. This was another reason they talked about rebelling against the king. They had King John sign their written document to make it official that he would respect their rights and that even the king was a subject to the law. This protected them from his taxes and abuse of power. This document was the Magna Carta. The principle of individual rights is represented in the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments in the Constitution. These are important because they state your rights in life including life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, etc. The abuse from a monarch, King John, is what influenced individual rights to be included in the Constitution so the people of America wouldn’t have to suffer from unfair treatment like they did. Americans can now practice their own religion, pick their own job, and so much more. You are able to do everything in life because of your individual rights. Not only did the ideas of the principles of individual rights and due process come from the Magna Carta but so did the idea of federalism.

When King John became king, he refused the appointment of Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, the most important position in the English Catholic Church. Because of his refusal, John was excommunicated from the Church. As a response, he taxed the Church, took its land, and made some of the priests leave their parishes. Because of this, the Barons plotted for rebellion. To stop them from rebelling, King John approved Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury. He paid the church back with money and their land. He also said that Pope Innocent could control England. The King still ruled England but the Pope was his liege lord, a feudal superior to which service and allegiance are due. In the Magna Carta, the King’s abuse of power was corrected against the Church officials. This influenced the principle of government, federalism with the balance of power between the King and the Church. Federalism is best represented in the Constitution by . The power is balanced between the Federal and State governments in the Constitution. This was an important development to the Constitution because it limits the abuse of power from either government stopping one from being too powerful. When the federal government is too strong it abuses its power. A good example of this was when the King and Parliament of England started taxing the Colonists and abusing their power. When the state governments have too much power the federal doesn’t have enough power to do anything. A good example of this was when the state governments wanted help or wanted to change a law nine out the thirteen states had to vote for it under the Articles of Confederation. Or when a state wanted to make a change to the Articles of Confederation, the vote had to be unanimous. This idea was developed from the Magna Carta between King John and the English Catholic Church.

The most significant influence on the creation of the U.S. government is the Magna Carta because it ensures that Americans get protection from abuse of power which allows us to live our lives the way we want to. The Magna Carta ensures that people’s individual rights will be respected and acknowledged, all legal procedures will be followed, and both federal and state governments will have a balance of power. As the President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger said, “where justice is concerned, the principles of the Magna Carta are a reference to which we should always return to ensure that we are proceeding in the right direction.”

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The Influential Magna Carta. (2021, Apr 03). Retrieved from

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