When America's Founding Fathers sat down to write the Declaration of Independence, they based much of their work on an old English document in which humanity's rightful liberties were formally declared. On June 19, 1215, King George III and the English Parliament created this historic document when they set in writing the recognition of universal rights. This declaration was given the royal seal and the name Magna Carta. The main premise of the Magna Carta was to affirm the concept that no man, not even the king, is above the law. This basic tenet of consitutionalism has continued and expanded throughout history.
Although the Magna Carta would eventually become part of the British Constitution providing universal protection of basic rights and freedoms of all citizens, it began as a feudal document intended to protect the rights of a few powerful barons from an overpowering and self-serving king. It included concessions to the church, merchants, townsmen and lower aristocracy, but the commoners would be without government voice and formal protection for another 700 years.
The significance to America's forefathers manifested itself after British Lord Coke wrote charters for the original American colonies. In these charters, he included a guarantee that all thse sailing for the New World would have 'all the rights and immunities of free and natural subjects.' Young colonists like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison interpreted the spirit of these charters to confer the rights declared within the Magna Carta and eventually used this interpretation as justification for waging a war for independence against Britain. Their first collective act was to publish these beliefs in the Declaration of Independence .
Which of the following best describes the tone of the passage?
1. The Magna Carta was not intended so, but it is used so.
2. The concept of "right and immunities" was not intended so, but people used it so.
I guess this is very ironic.
I vote for (B).
Auge um Auge, Zahn um Zahn !