|Notes on Magna Carta
"Likewise though it be said here, that the King hath given and granted these Liberties, yet they must not be understood as meer Emanations of Royal Fa∣vour, or new Bounties granted, which the people could not justly challenge, or had not a Right unto before; For the Lord Cook at divers places asserts, and all Lawyers know, that this Charter is for the most part only Declaratory of the principal grounds of the Fundamental Laws and Liberties of England, no new freedom is hereby granted, but a Restitution of such as lawfully they had before, and to free them of what had been usurped and encroached upon them by any power whatsoever; and therefore you may see this Charter often mentions Sua Jura, their Rights, and Liberat•s suas, their Liberties, which shews they had them before, and that the same now were Confirmed."
Compare that to the American Revolutionary Congress statement concerning a Declaration of Independence:
"That the question was not whether, by a declaration of independence, we should make ourselves what we are not; but whether we should declare a fact which already exists:
"That, as to the people or Parliament of England, we had always been independent of them, their restraints on our trade deriving efficacy from our acquiescence only, and not from any rights they possessed of imposing them; and that, so far, our connection had been federal only, and was now dissolved by the commencement of hostilities:
"That, as to the king, we had been bound to him by allegiance, but that this bond was now dissolved by his assent to the late act of Parliament, by which he declares us out of his protection, and by his levying war on us a fact which had long ago proved us out of his protection, it being a certain position in law, that allegiance and protection are reciprocal, the one ceasing when the other is withdrawn:"