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Magna Carta - Consider The Following . . .

amendments clauses rights wrong

  • Look up Amendments 5 and 6 in a copy of the Bill of Rights. Compare the amendments with Clauses 39 and 40 of the Magna Carta. What wording supports the idea that the amendments were patterned after Clauses 39 and 40?
  • Why do you suppose clauses 39 and 40 were hidden deep in the Magna Carta? Remember that there was no such thing as a jury trial in 1215. What form might a "lawful judgement" of one's "equals" have looked like in the thirteenth century?
  • Cite examples of countries in today's world where single leaders are or recently have been above the law. Choose one country and research what civil liberties do or do not exist for its citizens.

In perpetuity: Forever.

Its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired: The right to operate in England without royal interference.

Earl: British nobleman higher in status than a baron.

Dower: Deceased husband's property or money due to her rightly as his widow.

General consent: Agreement by the barons.

Our person: The king.

Trivial offence: Misdemeanor, or minor infraction.

Standing: Social standing, as in earl, baron, etc.

Allay: Halt.

Enjoyed in their entirety: Enforced.

Observed with all their might: Enforced with all of their power.

Transgress: Violate.

Redress: Compensation for the wrong.

Reckoning: Beginning.

Distrain upon and assail us in every way possible: Right the wrong.

Deceit: Trickery.

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