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Magna Carta 800 years on
• Magna Carta challenged and tried to restrict
the power of King John's government. He had
to take into account the wishes of his barons.
• Today, voters in democracies can vote, protest
and speak out against their governments. A
democratic government must take into
account the wishes of its voters just like king
John was supposed to take into account the
wishes of his barons.
• Our current rights as British citizens partly
date back to Magna Carta.
How successfully have
nationalists in Scotland
recently challenged state
Scottish referendum result Sept 2014
No 55%
Yes 45%
Turnout of voters 84.6%
Some details and consequences of the
referendum result
• Glasgow, Scotland`s largest city voted for
• Many younger and poorer scots voted for the first
time, excited by the promises of the Yes campaign.
• The Scottish Parliament has been promised more
• Alex Salmond resigned as Scottish First Minister
• Support for the Scottish Nationalist Party and
independence has risen since September
• British political parties are debating how to give more
power to English voters and English regions
How successfully have
nationalists in Catalonia
recently challenged state
Spain and Catalonia
• Spanish
Recent Spanish and Catalonian
• 1931 Spain became a republic with Catalonia as a self-governing
republic within it.
• 1936-1939 Spanish General Franco overthrew the Spanish Republic
in a bitter civil war.
• 1939-1977 Franco ruled Spain as a dictatorship. Catalonia was
controlled directly from Madrid and the Catalan language was
• From 1977 Spain became a democratic monarchy. Catalonia
became a self-governing region of Spain again with its own
• Spanish and Catalan became the two official languages.
• 2008 An international crisis badly damaged Spain`s economy. As the
richest Spanish region Catalonia had to help out the rest of Spain
and the Spanish government financially. Support for Catalan
independence grew
Catalan independence poll Nov 2014
80% voted for
• The poll was organised by the Catalan
government but it was not an official vote so it
cannot change Spanish law.
• Two million Catalans voted out of around 5.4
million who could have done
• Over three million Catalans did not vote at all
• The Spanish government says the poll was
against Spanish law and is to taking the
Catalan government to court.
How successfully have
nationalists in Crimea
recently challenged state
Crimean Referendum result 2014
•96.77% in favour of
joining Russia
•83.1% turnout
• There was no secret ballot….everyone saw
how people voted
• Crimea was already occupied by Russian and
pro-Russian forces
• Many Ukrainians and Tatars boycotted the
vote or were afraid to vote no
• There was widespread evidence of
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