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Magna Carta has made a long journey through time, spanning the globe by virtue of its implications and legacy. It has transcended barriers of language and the divisions of cultures and ideologies. 800 years on, the simple ideas of Freedom and Justice have become part of the genetic structure of humankind.
Whenever denials of Magna Carta's first principles have taken place, it has led to dehumanisation, genocide and an uncomfortable retrograde step against evolution itself. This has happened many times, but the indestructibility of the idea has re-emerged, usually more potent than before.
Magna Carta provided the active ingredient and fired the imagination of the charismatic Simon de Montfort, and the first ever directly elected Parliament in 1264.
The convulsion of the English Civil War, which saw a far more drastic conclusion of the monarch's power and authority than anything that took place at Runnymede, found the spirit of Magna Carta evoked during the Putney Debates of 1647. With the Restoration of Charles II, Magna Carta helped to codify the ancient writ of Habeas Corpus passed by Parliament in 1679.
Ideas of freedom and democracy, the rule of law to which all are subject and which are such a feature of Magna Carta, spread via France to the rebellious colonies of the New World. Thomas Jefferson not only paid tribute to the Levellers of the Putney Debates as an inspiration for the revolution, but used the breaches of the Magna Carta by yet another king, as retrospective justification for creating a brand new country in 1776.
Amendments to the Constitution of the United States numbers 5 and 14, concerning the primacy of the law above the head of state, trace their lineage to the death of the Divine Right of Kings and a chopping block in Whitehall.
Later in 1948, the world, when confronted with the smouldering evidence of what happens when freedom, democracy and the rule of law are swept aside by force, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and it is still for many, a work in progress.
The legacy of empire left behind the principles of Magna Carta enshrined within the constitution of the world's largest democracy in 1947. With a population of over 1.2 billion people, India is a powerful guarantor of Magna Carta principles.
The European Convention of Human Rights echoes Magna Carta in Article 6 and now, many millions of people in a post-cold war Europe have inherited the legacy of the events of 19 June, 1215.
To the present day, Magna Carta is evoked and cited whenever basic freedoms come under threat from over zealous governments, even in the cradle of world democracy itself. David Davis MP, stood down from Parliament in order to fight a by-election on the issue of 42-day detention in 2008, Magna Carta providing the casus belli. He won the argument and once again, Magna Carta carried the day.
800 years on, Magna Carta's best days lie ahead. As an idea of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, it is lapping against the shores of despotism. The principles set out in Magna Carta have driven the Arab Spring and the continuing protests against despotism around the world. These principles, with the power of social networking and the internet to spread them, will no doubt continue to have huge influence wherever freedom is under attack.
The Internet and instant worldwide personal communication are emblematic of the fluttering pennants of the twenty-five barons who waited impatiently for their despotic king to round the last bend in the river on a summer's day in 1215.