Comparison And Contrast Essay: The Virginia Declaration Of Rights

Words: 640
Pages: 3

Government continuously evolves to accompany basic human rights. For instance, the Magna Carta of 1215 established the basics for the promotion of civil liberties. The document restricted King John of England, of whom had entered into negotiations with rebel barons to prevent a civil war, by providing such rights as separation of the church’s influence from government and protecting England’s citizens from excessive taxes. The Magna Carta then proved as a basis for the English Bill of Rights in 1689, which included points such as the prevention of cruel and unusual punishment and taxes from being imposed without the consent of Parliament. Similarly, George Mason drew on the British Bill of Rights to draft the Virginia Declaration of Rights. Although each document was written for a separate occasion and a different time, they all retain the same principles of safeguarding human rights against government. Today, governments continue to adapt in the same manner as they have in the past by developing and improving upon the …show more content…
Although written in 1776, its principles were applied a few years later in 1791 when the Bill of Rights was ratified to the United States Constitution. James Madison extensively used the Virginia document when drafting the Bill of Rights. Therefore, the document included amendments guaranteeing provisions such as the Free Exercise Clause and the prevention of cruel and unusual punishment, which mirrors the Virginia Declaration of Rights almost exactly. The Bill of Rights is still used as the primary reference of human rights within the United States and continues to secure liberties in the court of law. For instance, in the 2005 case of McCreary County v. ACLU courts upheld the Establishment clause when a courthouse in Kentucky displayed the Ten Commandments, which is illegal because it preferences a particular