MOSCOW, November 7 (RIA Novosti) — A 10-week exhibition commemorating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta was debuted by Princess Anne of Britain at the US Library of Congress, the Telegraph reported on Thursday.
“Nearly 800 years ago, Magna Carta gave us our first concept of a society governed by the rule of law,” Princess said during her speech.
The Magna Carta or the Great Charter of the Liberties of England is considered by Great Britain, the US and many other countries to be a symbol of constitutional law and freedom. The document was developed by a group of feudal barons in 1215 in order to limit King’s power and assert their own rights. It includes such principles as the right to a fair trial, the limitation of taxes and equality of all people under the law. The Charter became a defining piece of Britain’s constitution and a framework for the modern American legal system as “the principle that no person is above the law” was incorporated in the US constitution, the Telegraph reports.
According to William C. Hubbard, President of the American Bar Association, the Charter became part of the American story before the adoption of the constitution, as the original thirteen colonies were practically governed by English common law. During the Revolutionary War, the Charter's principles inspired Americans to fight, as they believed their rights to be self determined, an idea set forth by the Great Charter.
The exhibition “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor” tells the story of the document and explains how it became a long-lasting symbol of freedom and constitutional law.
The document exhibited is one of the four surviving original copies, two of which are kept in the British Library and one, in Salisbury Cathedral. According to BBC, all four copies will be brought together for a special event in 2015, taking place at the British Library in London.