Magna Carta: Still Relevant 800 Years Later?

Britain is this month celebrating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, a document more than three times as old as the United States that established many principles of Western democracy. But what exactly is this historic charter, how did it come into being, and why is it so important to modern life in America? ? Magna Carta — meaning "Great Charter" in Latin — paved the road to modern democracy, granting every citizen individual freedoms and laying the foundation for constitutional rights and parliament. The charter was the first document declaring that the king or queen had to abide by the laws of the land. Due process was defined in Magna Carta to prevent King John from prosecuting people unless they had broken laws.