June 15, 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, with King John succumbing to the rights demanded by the bishops and barons, which in turn laid the ground work for modern democracy and constitutional government.
Daniel Hannan of the WSJ aptly described the implications of the “transformative” document:
The law was no longer just an expression of the will of the biggest guy in the tribe. Above the king brooded something more powerful…That something was what Magna Carta called “the law of the land.”
This governing and political context created an environment where innovation and economic freedom would ultimately prevail over time throughout the British Empire and America. In 2015, when authoritarian regimes, such as Russia and China, appear to be thriving (in some respects), it is important to reflect upon the significance of the Magna Carta on America’s economic success.
I suspect that David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of the Carlyle Group and owner of one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta, understands this significance as well.