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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Depew, Chauncey Mitchell, 1834- (search)
bitrary power for human rights. In the New World it was the conservator of liberties secured through centuries of struggle in the Old. Among the delegates were the descendants of the men who had stood in that brilliant array upon the field of Runnymede, which wrested from King John Magna Charta, that great charter of liberty, to which Hallam, in the nineteenth century, bears witness that all which had been since obtained is little more than as confirmation or commentary. There were the grandof the culmination in permanent triumph of the thousands of years of struggle for self-government, were the spirits of the soldiers of the Revolution who had died that their country might enjoy this blessed day, and with them were the barons of Runnymede, and William the Silent, and Sidney, and Russell, and Cromwell, and Hampden, and the heroes and martyrs of liberty of every race and age. As he came forward, the multitude in the streets, in the windows, and on the roofs sent up such a raptu