The Magna Carta and King Phillip IV of France

Magna_Carta_(British_Library_Cotton_MS_Augustus_II.106)
The great Magna Carta of England, 1215

The Magna Carta is probably the most fundamental document in history; when barons and knights stood up to a tyrant and demanded freedom for all under the law.  This document, written in 1215, was a major influence in not only Britain, but the fledgling United States of America, as they declared their independence. The reason? Because their rights as “Englishmen”, acknowledged by the Magna Carta, had been infringed by King George III.

One of the main infractions of King John of England was the fact that, in order to support his hire of mercenaries and tyrannical domination of the people and the landholding barons, he instituted ever increasing taxes… without representation, which was the theme on July 4th, 1776, and also at Boston Harbor as taxed British tea was dumped by the crate into the Atlantic by unrepresented American tax payers.

Filippoilbello
Philip IV of France

In sharp contrast, King Philip IV of France, also known as Philip the Fair, was busy years later gaining control of France, and establishing the power of the monarchy. He was inspired by the ancient Roman Laws, especially those concocted and compiled by the Emperor Justinian, and filled his courts with lawyers knowledgeable of those laws, which, in essence, gave nearly all power to the monarch, who was to be given the benefit of the doubt. He spent his spare time either starting wars, paying for those wars by any means available to him, including the slaughter of the Knights Templar and the expulsion of the Jews and Lombard bankers, or seating his relatives on European thrones, attacking the Roman Church, and consolidating his power over his vassals.

So, the Magna Carta and similar documents stand for true freedom; liberty under law. In the meantime, King Philip IV and hundreds of other monarchs, bankers, and the modern politician stand for what the Magna Carta stood against; the rights of individuals to be free, under God, to give consent to and be represented by their respective governments.

 

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