Evolution Of Law Essay

1123 words - 4 pages

Evolution of Law

The government our nation has established today has come a long way from its roots. Starting with the Napoleonic Code and eventually ending with the Ratified Constitution of the United States.

Rome came to England bringing the Roman Code, thus law begins. The Roman Code was a rigid code that in reality did not change much. It required ample detail and was difficult to understand at times. For example, if there where five different murders all using five different colored knives. Whoever was in charge of the courts would record these murders as five different cases and may yield five different outcomes. In fact, defendants were never defended because there were no trials. You where brought before the people, asked of the crime, and given a penalty. Due to the fall of Rome, the Dark Ages, and, this government did not survive long. However, it created a great basis for all government today.

The Magna Carta was one of the first major documents to start organized government. King John I met with Barons in order to avoid war and make peace. The Barons were angered because of their previously denied personal rights and liberties. To appease the Barons King John I created the Magna Carta, in 1215, which gave the Barons the liberties they wanted. It also limited some of the king's powers. It was a basic Constitution to the English culture.

After a while, the renaissance era arrived and people began regrouping and governing themselves. Custom, usage, religion, and culture caused the Roman Code to evolve. Also, because "the way of life" for English was becoming more complex, the roman code could no longer suffice as law. Changes needed to be made to assure government did its job of protecting its citizens. So tweaks such as Stare Decisis where added in. Stare Decisis clearly states "let the decision stand." From this point on, if a judge where in doubt about a decision at hand, he could send a clerk to check for a similar case and uphold that decision for the newer one. As the Code changed so much it was no longer the code, the English needed a new name for their new law. They decided to name this law English Common Law.

Because of England's new found wealth, glory, and power they became bored and craved more. This era in time was properly christened the Age of Exploration. The Age of Exploration was focused on three exploring countries England, France, and Spain. These three countries all landed in North America in hopes of new life. England landed on the eastern shore and coast. France landed in, what is known as, Canada today. Finally, Spain landed in, what is known as, Mexico and Florida today. Each country brought there own type of law with them to govern themselves. England brought their new English Common Law, France and Spain both brought the Roman Code. Because all three of these countries craved the same power and the same land, and in history sharing is never taught, war broke out. This war was dubbed the...

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