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This survey tells the story of the Magna Carta "through the ages", tracing its continuing importance in England's political consciousness. It underlines the charter's great influence outside the United Kingdom, especially in North America and argues that it enjoys greater prestige in the United States, the land of lawyers, than in Britain. US citizens claim Magna Carta as a source of their liberties, guaranteeing "due process of law" and condemning "executive privelege".
Ralph Turner is a Professor at Florida State University. He is the author of King John (1994) and Richard the Lionheart (2000) and is an expert on both British and French History and the medieval period, having written widely on both rulers and the state.