The Magna Carta - June 15, 1215
of the Magna Carta is as follows:
- was to be free from royal interference,
especially in the election of bishops.
Taxes No taxes except the
regular feudal dues were to be levied, except by the consent of the Great
Council, or Parliament.
The right to
due process which led to Trial by Jury.
Weights and Measures all
weights and measures to be kept uniform throughout the realm.
The Magna Carta is considered
the founding document of English liberties and hence American liberties. The
influence of Magna Carta can be seen in the United States Constitution and the
Bill of Rights. Article 21 from the Declaration of Rights in the Maryland Constitution of
freeman ought to be taken, or imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold,
liberties, or privileges, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any manner destroyed,
or deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by the judgment of his
peers, or by the law of the land."
The "Betsy Ross" Flag 1777
On June 14,1777, the Second
Continental Congress passed the flag Resolution, establishing the first
congressional standard for official United States Flags. The shape and arrangement of the stars is not
mentioned there were variations but the legal description gives the Ross
Resolved, that the flag of the United States
be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars,
white in a blue field representing a new constellation.
The colors of the Great Seal are the
same as the colors in the American flag. To attribute meaning to these colors,
Charles Thomson, who helped design the Great Seal, reported to Congress that
"White signifies purity and
innocence. Red hardiness and valor
and Blue... signifies vigilance,
perseverance and justice."
Address November 19,1863 President
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth
on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition
that all men are created equal. Now we are
engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so
conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field
of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final
resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger
sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow --
this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have
consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will
little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what
they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the
unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It
is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us --
that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which
they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that
these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall
have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the
people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Adam Gopnik, in The
New Yorker, notes "Lincolns
rhetoric is, instead, deliberately Biblical.
(It is difficult to find a single obviously classical reference in all of his
speeches.) Lincoln had mastered the sound of the King James Bible so
completely that he could recast abstract
issues of constitutional law in Biblical terms, making the proposition
that Texas and New Hampshire should be
forever bound by a single post office sound like something right out of Genesis."