What are the similarities between the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights? Also, is a piece of paper considered to be a 2D object or 3D object?

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The biggest similarity between the Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta is that they both place certain formal constraints on the power of the central government. The Magna Carta came about due to the restlessness of English knights of the realm, who believed that King John was accruing too much power for himself at their expense. They therefore wanted some kind of written document that would enshrine their rights as well as spelling out exactly what the king could and could not do.

The Bill of Rights, like the Magna Carta, was also a document written for the benefit of a political elite. In this case, delegates to the Constitutional Convention were concerned that the proposed Constitution gave too much power to the Federal Government at the expense of the states, thus potentially reintroducing British tyranny by the back door. The ensuing Bill of Rights was a means of allaying these concerns while at the same time ensuring that the proposed Constitution had as much support as possible.

The Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights share something else in common: they were both written on paper, which is a 3-D object.

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The Magna Carta, written in 1215 (and later revised several times) by rebel barons who pressed their demands on King John, leader of England, sets limits on the power of the monarch. Many of the provisions in the document were intended only for the elite. However, the document grants the accused rights in a criminal trial that later became the the English Petition of Right (passed in 1628) and the Habeas Corpus Act (passed in 1679). These important rights came from Clause 39 of the Magna Carta, which reads, "no free man shall be…imprisoned or disseised [dispossessed]… except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land" and from clause 40, which reads, "To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay right or justice."These rights of defendants in criminal trials became part of the Bill of Rights, particularly the 5th Amendment's protection of due process rights, which reads, "Nor shall any persons be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law."

In fact, 9 out the 26 rights in the Bill of Rights can be traced back to the Magna Carta. However, the Magna Carta does not provide for the abolition of the monarchy, as does the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Paper is 3-D, as it has length, width, and an infinitesimal height. 

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There are some similarities between the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights. The Magna Carta was issued in 1215. King John’s barons were upset by his actions because he was acting like a tyrant. They presented him with a list of demands, which, if he agreed to, would limit his power. If he did not agree to these demands, a civil war would have occurred. Thus, the King limited his power and that of future monarchs when he signed the document.


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Bill of Rights was added to our Constitution in 1791. The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to our Constitution. The Bill of Rights guaranteed our citizens certain rights. These rights included the right to freedom of speech and religion, the right to bear arms, the right to be free from having to house soldiers in their homes, the right to be free from unreasonable searches, and others. The Bill of Rights limited the power of our government. Thus, both documents limited what the government could do.

Paper is a 3-D object.

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The major similarity between the two documents is that both of them are limits on the power of the government.  A secondary similarity is that they are both written contracts of sorts that spell out what governments can and cannot do.

The idea that a government can be limited was a novel one in the 1200s.  The theory of monarchy was that every ruler had unlimited power subject only to whoever was above him (and the king was subject only to God).  But this document said that there were earthly rules kings had to follow.

The Bill of Rights does this as well -- it sets limits on what a government may do.

A piece of paper is 3-D.

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