The origin of our rights

Magna_CartaToday in the western world, the common man takes it for granted that he or she has certain rights. For e.g., if he or she is arrested by the police, that there is a path to justice, a path where peers will evaluate evidence and finally decide if indeed there is guilt. Imagine for a moment that those in government could do whatever they wanted much like the past autocracies or today’s dictators. Life as we know now would cease to exist – favoritism, nepotism, tyranny, injustice, etc would all be rampant. You would not just worry about food or shelter but also but mere existence. Thanks to the Magna Carta, a document forced upon the King of England by a group of his subjects in the year 1215, we now have a system of justice. And what is amazing is nearly 900 years back, there were people who were thinking for the people, by the people and of the people. It would have taken a bad king for the people to start thinking about justice, but at that time it would have taken a lot more for the subjects to force a King to sign an agreement. The Magna Carta forced the King to accept that his will was not arbitrary and his subjects had certain rights – i.e., no one could be punished except through the law of the land. The Magna Carta became the foundational document for many free thinking governments including the United States. Thanks to those who lived and suffered in the past, we are able to breathe more freely without fearing the powerful.

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