Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Choose your columnist

David Brooks (yesterday), New York Times --

Eight hundred years ago next month, English noblemen forced King John to sign the Magna Carta. It’s still having amazing effects on the world today. The Magna Carta helped usher in government with a separation of powers. It helped create conditions in which centralized authority could not totally control fiscal, political, religious or intellectual life. It helped usher in the modern Anglo-Saxon state model, with its relative emphasis on the open movement of people, ideas and things. The Anglo-Saxon model has its plusses and minuses, but it is very attractive to people around the world.

Philip Stephens (1 May), Financial Times (subs. maybe req'd) --

As for history, it is surely time for Britain to acknowledge the role of its old enemy France. Almost as soon as Magna Carta was sealed, the king reneged. He was brought to heel only with the aid of Prince Louis, son of the King of France, who marched his army into London at the behest of the English barons. Democracy, whisper it ever so quietly, was a Franco-British enterprise.  

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