We need to be alert to this danger; it has happened more than once in interpreting the clauses of the Great Charter
. A sensible way to avert this possibility is to start with a perspective we know was current in the learned world at the time when Magna Carta was written, rather than to start with our own.
The Magna Carta, often called the "Great Charter
," is considered the foundation of the American constitutional system.
Although most of the intentions of the barons in forcing John to agree to Magna Carta concerned their narrow self-interest, over the next several centuries, the Great Charter
was used in later assertions of limited government and individual rights.
The Great Charter
marked the first instance of a King being compelled to accept a list of terms drafted by his subjects.
These so-called rebel barons persuaded the reluctant King John to affix his seal to the Magna Carta, the "Great Charter
." (1) This was a major step toward the conception and implementation of properly limited government.
(2) Way back in 1215, the reigning monarch King John signed what came to be known as the Magna Carter (Great Charter
) which was a deal between an arrogant king and the robber barons to make sure the king didn't abuse his power over the barons.
Eustace de Vesci, Lord of Warkworth, was one of the 25 barons who vowed to act as guarantor of the Great Charter
, and see that King John observed it.
The Magna Carta, meaning Great Charter
in Latin, was born out of a rebellion in England.
Article 39 of the Great Charter
called for trial by peers and this became trial by jury.
An original copy of the Magna Carta (the Great Charter
) and its companion document the Charter of the Forest will be on display in Winnipeg's Canadian Museum of Human Rights at The Forks this summer.
But the initial takeaway, at least for me, is that we cannot create great charter
schools without great entrepreneurs, great administrators, and great teachers.