Magna Carta Essay

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Alayna Tolbert
Mrs. Aarons
British Literature
30 October 2012
Magna Carta Essay
The Magna Carta is widely viewed as one if the most important documents in the history of democracy. The Magna Carta was written by a group of people in 13th century England to protect their rights and property against their oppressive king. The document provides specific laws and rules to keep the king from having too much power over the country; this very key document also inspired the American constitution and Bill of Rights.

In the stories from the unit A Royal Mess it is easily identifiable why the people of England wanted a document to protect their freedoms and rights. In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, the character Macbeth is an honorable man who becomes a bloodthirsty, power hungry king; he kills for pleasure and without reason. This would be a big reason for the Magna Carta since in the document in article 29 states that “No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land.” This principle would have eliminated the actions of Macbeth because he as king would not have been able to kill any people without just cause or without a trial for their actions. In the play Macbeth, the thane of Cawdor was killed in battle and King Duncan took his land to give to Macbeth. This would be unjust according to the Magna Carta. The solution to the problem is stated in article 2 where it states that “If any of our earls or barons, or anyone else holding from us in chief by military service should die, and should his heir be of full age and owe relief, the heir is to have his inheritance for the ancient relief, namely the heir or hairs of an earl for a whole county 100, the heir or heirs of a baron for a whole barony 100 marks, the heir or heirs of a knight for a whole knights fee 100 shillings at most, and he who owes less will...