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MAGNA CARTA


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Author Topic: MAGNA CARTA  (Read 947 times)
Bianca
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« on: December 06, 2007, 08:28:58 pm »








Trial of Archbishop Laud



Further proof of the significance of Magna Carta is shown in the trial of Archbishop Laud in 1645. Laud was tried with attempting to subvert the laws of England including writing a condemnation of Magna Carta claiming that as the Charter came about due to rebellion it was not valid (a widely held opinion less than a century before, when the ‘true’ Magna Carta was thought to be the 1225 edition, with the 1215 edition being considered less valid for this very reason). However, Laud was not trying to say that Magna Carta was evil, and he actually used the document in his defence. He claimed his trial was against the right of the freedom of the church (as the Bishops were voted out of Parliament in order to allow for parliamentary condemnation of him) and, that he was not given the benefit of due process contrary to Clauses 1 and 39 of the Charter. By this stage, Magna Carta had passed a great distance beyond the original intentions for the document, and the Great Council had evolved beyond a body merely ensuring the application of the Charter. It had gotten to the stage where the Great Council or Parliament was inseparable from the ideas of the Crown as described in the Charter and therefore it was potentially not just the King that was bound by the Charter, but Parliament also.





Civil War and interregnum



After seven years of civil war, the king surrendered and was executed; it seemed Magna Carta no longer applied, as there was no king. Oliver Cromwell was accused of destroying Magna Carta, and many thought he should be crowned just so that it would apply.[citation needed] Cromwell had much disdain for the Magna Carta, at one point describing it as "Magna Farta" to a defendant who sought to rely on it.

In this time of foment, there were many revolutionary theorists, and many based their theories at least initially on Magna Carta, in the misguided belief that Magna Carta guaranteed liberty and equality for all.
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