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MAGNA CARTA...There is little argument among historians that Magna Carta (and perhaps the printing press) paved the road for The Glorious Revolution of 1688-89 in England, The American Revolution, and the bold attempt made by the French in 1789. Once a thread of power, as thin as a strand of hair is taken from an absolute monarch they no longer have absolute power...PERIOD. Although there are many differences between these revolutions the essence of these revolutions are what binds them together. Each of them shared the idea that people had the 'right' to be free. This was as radical a thought could get in the late 17th and 18th centuries. Those who we call 'political philosophers' today posed the most severe threat to the divine right of Kings. These events are related by nothing more than 'mindset'. A mindset is nothing more than a frame of reference, if all have 'natural God given rights, the power of 'consent of the governed', and the power to 'separate power' what the heck to WE need a King for anyway. To paraphrase here...'The needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few'...'or the one'....
All three revolutions attempted to change government relatively quickly. Their results led primarily to the triumph of the Rule of Law, which allowed the further development of Individual Rights. The Glorious Revolution (1688) in England finally solidified the powers of the legislative branch of government (in this case, Parliament) over the executive (King James.) This process restricting the executive began with the Magna Carta in 1215, which began to weaken the "Divine Right of Kings," and ended at this time, the revolution being "glorious" because Rule of Law through Parliament deposed the king, not bloodletting and warfare as was (is?) usually the case. The American Revolution (1776) again affirmed the supremacy of legislative government over executive, but in this case the conflict centered around which legislative body would be supreme, the colonial assemblies, or Parliament. Having successfully broken with England, the former American Colonies established government on the English model where the Rule of Law is sacrosanct. The French, similarly attempted a Rule of Law by the Declaration of the Rights of Man, somewhat modeled on the American Declaration of Independence. However, the French Revolution devolved into bloodshed, class warfare, regicide, and failure, which created an opportunity for Napoleon to become Emperor. After Napoleon, France finally gained a measure of British-American style democracy many years after its revolution.
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