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Comparing the Magna Carta and U.S. Constitution

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Cate Ziegler

on 27 May 2014

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Transcript of Comparing the Magna Carta and U.S. Constitution

Comparing the Magna Carta
and U.S. Constitution

Created by Hana Hayes and Cate Ziegler 11th period
Although the Magna Carta and U.S. Constitution were created during two different times in two different places, there are still many similarities between them. In fact, some of the ideas of the Magna Carta are included in the U.S. Constitution.
Background Information on the Magna Carta
The Magna Carta was created on
June 15, 1215 by a group of King John of England's subjects, know as the feudal barons. This group was trying to limit the king's powers and protect their rights.
Background Information on the U.S. Constitution
The U.S. Constitution was created on September 17, 1787. This document was made because once the U.S. had won its independence from England in 1781, they wanted to make their government more effective.
Similarities Involving Religion
One significant principle of the Magna Carta involves the freedom of the church. In the Constitution, as listed in the 1st Amendment, freedom of religion is guaranteed.
Similarities Involving Taxes
Taxes were another point mentioned in both documents. In the Magna Carta, it was established that only the Parliament could levy taxes, not the king. Although the U.S. does not have a Parliament, the Congress levies taxes, not the president.
Similarities Involving Trial
Included in both documents is the right to due process which led to trial by jury in the U.S. This principle included in the Constitution is associated with the Judicial Branch. In the Magna Carta, it is guaranteed that everyone has the right to a fair trial.
Similarities Involving Government
Included in the Magna Carta is the limitation of the King of England's power which led to the creation of the Parliament. The Parliament is the form of government with powers to act in the citizen's behalf. In the U.S., the three branches of government are the parallel to the Parliament.
Similarities Involving Equal Fines
Another similarity between the documents is that both include the right of fair fines. They state that the fine is associated with the degree of offense, but they can not be too heavily fined. The punishment must fit the crime in order to be fair.
Similarities Involving Witness
Included in both documents is that no one can be placed on trial without a credible witness. This means that no one can be placed on a jury trial unless there is a believable witness or evidence proving someone of a crime. In the jury trial, the jury decides if the witness/evidence is honorable.
Contrasts Between the Documents
Although there are many similarities between the U.S. Constitution and the Magna Carta, there are also MANY differences.
Full transcript