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The Spirit of American Government

A Study of The Constitution: Its Origin, Influence and Relation to Democracy

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Author: J. Allen Smith
Published: 1907
Language: English
Wordcount: 95,908 / 301 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 43.4
LoC Category: JK
Downloads: 2,214
Added to site: 2009.02.14
mnybks.net#: 23426
Genre: Politics
Excerpt

Great Charter extorted from the King on this occasion, though frequently referred to as the foundation of English liberty, was in reality a matter of but little immediate importance to the common people. The benefit of its provisions, while not limited to the nobility, extended, however, only to those classes without whose aid and support the tyrannical power of the King could not be successfully opposed. The church, by reason of the great wealth which it controlled and the powerful influence which it exerted in a superstitious age over the minds of the people, was a factor that could not be ignored. The freemen also played an important part in the constitutional struggles, since they carried the sword and formed the rank and file of the fighting class. The important provisions of the Great Charter relate exclusively to the rights of the church, the nobility and the freemen. The serfs, while not included within the benefit of its provisions, were an overwhelming majority of the English people. This conclusion

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