The Magna Carta
This is the second video – last week I spoke about the NV ranch showdown. Today is the official debut of my video series of short historical and topical events. Subscribe to these videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/PatriotBeers
This video series is sponsored by and based upon my book – 'Beers with our Founding Fathers' available at the website of the same name.
Our Founding Fathers were the leaders of the Greatest Generation of their time.
Today is April 19, 2014 – Patriots Day – the first day of the American Revolution, or as I call it – the American War for Independence. On April 19th 1775 – British troops were enroute to Boston to capture arms, ammunition and rebels. At Lexington Green was ‘the shot heard around the world’ as England’s troops and Minutemen exchanged gunfire. The Minutemen killed three times the better trained English troops over their own casualties.
In my book I began as near the beginning as I can with our history and freedoms – The Magna Carta or Great Charter of England (June 16th 1215 – more than 550 years before our Declaration of Independence and about 560 years before our Constitution. What does a document in England, from the medieval era, have to do with the birth of our Country?
o By signing the charter, by force, he limited his powers as king, and also laid the foundation for England’s parliament and citizen’s rights.
o The concepts of this charter are found in our own founding documents. It is important to note nearly every country, until the birth of our own, was ruled by royalty – king or queen, emperor or empress, czar or czaress, etc. Other countries were ruled by dictators, etc.
o Royalty ruled by absolute authority, until the Magna Carta and representation in a parliament.
o The Magna Carta, for the first time, limited royalty and empowered – to a constrained degree – the citizens.
It should also be noted that the events leading up to this historical event were based on a conflict between the Catholic pope, and excessive – extortion levels – taxes. For centuries, religious leaders held authorities, not much different than royalty. There was a conflict between the king and the church over who should be the next archbishop. As a result of this conflict, the king was excommunicated and banned church services. The pope forced the king’s hand and ‘taxed’ the king any time he wished. For this, and many other historical reasons, we have Freedom of Religion as a birthright in our Bill of Rights. Moreover, the king taxed the landowners (commoners worked the land, they did not own it) – now known as ‘the rich’ excessively. Of course these taxes were passed on to commoners working the land, in addition to the personal taxes they already paid. For this, and many other historical reasons, we are not supposed to have taxation without representation.
In retaliation, the landowners took up arms against the king and forced him to sign the Magna Carta. However, the king had no intention to, nor did he, abide by the Magna Carta. The landowners again took up arms and supported the invasion of England by France, and accepted their king. They later turned against their new king and crowned the son of their own king.
For all of these reasons, and many other historical reasons, we have the birthright to hold our government accountable and water the Tree of Liberty. It is why we have the Right to Bear Arms as a sacred unalienable birthright in our Bill of Rights.
The Supreme Court (all courts) considers and cites case law and legal documents as far back as the Magna Carta when reviewing and determining present case law, assessing the intent of our founding documents and Founding Fathers. Yes, the Magna Carta is important. What other laws are in the Magna Carta? The Magna Carta consisted of 37 laws that were renewed or created. These included laws regarding taxation (very limited, except as granted by representative parliament), separation of church and state, due process and trial by jury, and many others. Historically, the Magna Carta has changed and evolved, but still survives in England today; now limited to three clauses. However, United States courts look back to the Magna Carta and common law because our own laws are based on England common law. History is important – even medieval history.
This has been your Patriot Minute. Thank you for joining me and I hope you share this message and join me next time. Please watch my books Facebook page for daily tidbits and also the next video of this series. Visit Facebook and search for Beers with our Founding Fathers, and visit the book website of the same name.
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Dean A. Beers, American Patriot
author and speaker