Face to face with the foundation of democracy

Jessica Rusher with the Magna Carta PNL-140923-172010001
Jessica Rusher with the Magna Carta PNL-140923-172010001

A group of politics students were the first to see the restored Magna Carta in London.

The 17 undergraduates from the University of Buckingham were accompanied by course professor Mallory Factor for the exclusive visit.

The 1297 Magna Carta, widely regarded as one of the finest surviving 13th century copies of the groundbreaking document, is in the new City of London Heritage Gallery at the Guildhall Art Gallery, which opened to the public the following day.

The City of London Corporation has developed the gallery to showcase a selection of treasures to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in 1215.

For the students studying American politics, it was particularly poignant that the visit took place on September 11, with an American professor.

The Magna Carta, which laid the foundations for modern democracy, developed great significance for Americans over the years and is thought to have influenced the framers of the Declaration of Independence.

Prof Factor said: “The Magna Carta is so important, it is the foundation of western civilisation’s rule of law and it is so vital to the American experiment, harking back to the glorious revolution.

“And that’s why we came here, because it’s so important to see it for real, to see what really makes western civilisation tick.”

Media and English student Jessica Rusher said: “This is second to none as a politics experience. The Magna Carta is fundamental to the foundation of democracy across the world.”

Prior to the viewing, the students had lunch with MP for Buckingham John Bercow in the Speaker’s House.