June 15 is the anniversary of the most iconic document in modern democracy - Magna Carta. The document originally served as a peace treaty between King John of England and rebellious barons who threatened civil war. When he attached his seal to the parchment, King John was likely unaware of the significance the document would attain in subsequent centuries as constitutional democracies replaced monarchies throughout the Western World.
The Founding Fathers' Magna Carta
By the time of the American Revolution, the reputation of Magna Carta as the physical embodiment of revolutionary ideas, including limiting government influence in personal affairs, was well established. America's founding fathers turned to the ancient document for inspiration and for justification as they encouraged fellow revolutionaries to form their own government.
Throughout the month of June, you can learn more about Magna Carta's influence on modern American and Texas Law at the Harris County Law Library with exhibits that highlight the link between the iconic document and our modern constitutional rights. You even have the chance to read The Great Charter like a founding father when you visit our downtown Houston location to see the Law Library's 1763 copy of Magna Carta - the same edition owned by founding father John Adams during the American Revolution. For more learning opportunities, visit our digital exhibit - Magna Carta.