|Magna Carta founding document of conservatism|
|King John signing the Magna Carta|
At Runnymede by the banks of Thames the Barrons sought to end the King's monopoly on power. They recognised that no none individual has perfect knowledge or insight into society's needs. Some rulers have, of course been virtuous, gifted and well intentioned on behalf of their subjects. Marcus Aurelius, the Philosopher Emperor of Rome, springs to mind. Yet Marcus Aurelius's reign would be succeeded by Commodus a beastly and inhumane ruler. A king would always attempt to expand his powers and extend his reign into perpetuity through hereditary succession. The results would often prove horrific.
England was the birthplace of the conservative movement. Magna Carta was the start of checks and balances so beloved of US constitutionalists.