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The one weakness of the Anglo-Saxon common law was that it was unwritten.
Since its principles were known among the whole people, they seemed indifferent to the necessity of writing them down.
As Dr. Colin Rhys Lovell of the University of Southern California states: “The law applied by any of these Anglo-Saxon assemblies was customary. Until the Anglo-Saxon conversion to Christianity it was unwritten and like all customary law was considered immutable.” England’s Need for a Written Bill of Rights However, the Norman Conquest taught the Anglo Saxons in
England’s Need for a Written Bill of Rights
However, the Norman Conquest taught the Anglo-Saxons in England a bitter lesson. Many of their most treasured rights disappeared in a flood of blood and vindictive oppression. In fact, these rights were regained very slowly over a period of centuries and gradually they were written down.
In 1215 A.D., during a national crisis, the sword was virtually put to the throat of King John in order to compel him to sign the Magna Charta, setting forth the traditional rights of freemen as well as the feudal barons who had been serving under King John. During that same century the “Model Parliament” came into being, which compelled the King to acknowledge the principle of no taxation without representation.
Charles I was later pressured into signing the people’s Petition of Rights in 1628, and the English Bill of Rights was signed by William and Mary in 1689.
Through the centuries, the British have tried to manage their political affairs with no written constitution and have merely relied upon these fragmentary statutes as a constitutional reference source. These proved helpful to the American Founders, but they felt that the structure of government should be codified in a more permanent, comprehensive form.
It will be appreciated, therefore, that the tradition of written constitutions in modern times is not of English origin but is entirely American, both in principle and practice.
An excerpt from: The Five Thousand Year Leap Written by: W.Cleon Skousen.
His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.
He has published several books about his adventures.
For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.
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