“Given by our hand in the meadow that is called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June in the seventeenth year of our reign [AD 1215],”
Granted, much of the document asserts the right of the barons, rather than the King, to oppress the people. But the beginning of Anglo-Saxon freedoms can be seen in some of the clauses, like these:
(39) No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.
(40) To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.
In 1989, when the French were celebrating the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, Margaret Thatcher pointed out to François Mitterrand, “We, of course, had the Magna Carta.” Quite right. (ht: Volokh Conspiracy)