Law Essay on the Magna Carta and the Constitution

The Magna Carta and the Constitution

The US constitution has proved to be stable and flexible for over 200 years accommodating important rights to its people. The constitution was developed to form the government a new federation which allowed the establishment of citizens’ rights. It majorly serves three functions namely: creating a national government with a legislative branch, executive branch, and judicial branch, diving powers between three government levels, and finally, protecting important liberties of its citizens (Maland and Arnold, 2017).  The constitution separates powers by giving executive power to the president, the legislation power to the Congress and the judicial power to the courts. This is meant to avoid imbalances and tyranny of branches, but all branches work with each other in governing the states. The US constitution also divides powers between the federal and the state government. The federal government has power over the state governments. There are powers given to the state which the federal government does not have. Thus the constitution limits powers by the federal government given to the states. The final function which is protecting citizens’ rights is amended under the bill of rights.  The bill of rights contains several clauses including equal protection and protection from discrimination based on race and sex among other characteristics.

The Magna Carta is a document of principles agreed by England’s King John after a period of high tax charges and unsuccessful foreign policies (Barrington, 2017). The Magna Carta also knows as the Great Charter puts everybody under the rule of law including all England’s sovereigns. The primary purpose of the charter was to devolve power from the king to the court of barons and the parliament. It established basics of rights in the trade activities, placed limitations in tax charges under property law, and laid out interpretation of environmental law. The charter thus advocated for liberties of people in British. The charter has been developing with time and its principles are still relevant today.

The purpose of the charter is to protect basic human rights including protection from the excessive control of property by the government (Stewart, 2011). It gives all the British people the freedom to enjoy their liberties and free customs. The charter also gives British people the freedom to practice religious practices. It also provides other freedoms along this particular clause including freedom of speech. The other purpose of this charter is promoting justice. It serves all the people of British by outlining principles and rights of every individual and how they should be treated. People are protected from unjust oppression including discrimination of freed prisoners to have equal rights like other citizens, the imposition of unfair finds, and provides a fair and just court procedures among others. The charter basically provides rights that serves all the British people in all their life walks including respect for family privacy, limitations to border controls especially to merchants, and protection of the environment.

There are many similarities between the Magna Carta and the US Constitution. First, they all protect different human rights and freedoms including freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination. Secondly, the two documents separate and divide power within the levels of government. The US constitution gives the president its own powers, the Congress as well as the judicial system while the Magna Carta devolves powers from the King to states and the people. Thirdly, all the two constitutions provide property rights. The Magna Carta gives traders liberties, free customs, and protection from unfair fining and taxation, while the US constitution empowers the Congress to protect intellectual property and also uniform levying of taxes. The two constitutions aim at serving the rights and freedoms of people and institutions as well as protecting them from excessive control from the government.


Stewart, Ewen (2011). The Magna Carta Today: Its Principles and Relevance in the 21st Century.The Hampden Trust.

Maland. P and Arnold. (2017). About America: How the United States Is Governed. Braddock Communication.

Barrington, R. (2017). The Magna Carta. Encyclopaedia Britannica.