Magna Carta signingThe place was Runnymede, England, the King was John, the language of the document was Latin. Still, this was a world history-changing day for every nation, and we rightfully celebrate


In what seems today like a grudging admission from a king that his will was not absolute and that people other than himself had certain liberties, the snowball started rolling downhill towards the rule of Constitutional Law over the affairs of men with The Great Charter of 1215.

Freemen and above (sorry serfs, it would be centuries before it became your turn to matter) could not be punished except through the law of the land.

This was a huge breakthrough coming on the heels of the entire bloody and oppressive history of humanity, when almost nobody was worth anything, and their lives and rights could be forfeit on the whim of nobility. After enduring this forever, people started rebelling and making life uncomfortable for the horsey set, uncomfortable as in slaying them and chopping their bodies into little bits.

Normally, kings and their titled nobility would send their knights in armor on a swift campaign of genocide, rape and pillaging and that would be the end of the rebellion, but there were too many people and too much anger to kill them all, as much as they would have relished the prospect.

From that day on, kings were bound by law, and the rights of the common man were established. June 15 marks 809 years since we first said “Enough!”

•Suggested Activities: Follow the steps to 1776

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