What was the influence of the Magna Carta on the Constitution?

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Magna Carta was written, and signed under duress by King John, because the nobility of England were demanding to be guaranteed what they deemed to be basic human rights which had not been specifically named and granted prior to that time. The Magna Carta set out, in writing, limits on the powers of the king and defined powers that were given to the common residents of the kingdom.

When the Constitution was being written, the committee of writers looked to the Magna Carta as an example and a framework for the new governmental structure they were creating. The Magna Carta and the experience of conducting a government under the guidance of its provisions for over 550 years (the Magna Carta was signed in 1215; the Constitution was written in 1787) allowed the writers of the Constitution to recognize important considerations that needed to be included when organizing the new format for the government of the United States.


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