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 power?
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 independence 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 power 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 power?
Recent Spanish and Catalonian history 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 banned From 1977 Spain became a democratic monarchy. Catalonia became a self-governing region of Spain again with its own parliament. 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 independence
However………………. 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 power?
Crimean Referendum result 2014 96.77% in favour of joining Russia 83.1% turnout
BUT………. 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 intimidation