The Story begins with King John, Successor to Richard the first. Everyone wanted him gone, Because people thought he was the worst.
When fighting, John always lost, His armies failed time and again. These defeats came at a high cost, So he raised taxes for all of his men.
John often angered the Pope, The two were constantly bickering. Innocent wanted to crush John’s hope, So he excommunicated the King.
By then, everyone knew That King John was a terrible man. His barons knew just what to do, They hatched up a devious plan.
Barons, Bishops, and Abbots joined together, Like the ancient warriors of Sparta. They gathered some parchment, some ink, and a feather, And created the Magna Carta.
The charter promised legal equity, But John gave a sarcastic guffaw. He liked his absolute monarchy, So he rejected the rule of law.
The rebels sought retaliation, So they captured the capital city. They demanded negotiation, And forced John to sign. What a pity!
John could not foresee What the future had in store. He had taken steps towards democracy, Without a revolutionary war.
After John’s death a year later, Human rights were on an upward trend. John is remembered as the dictator Whose misfortune helped save the world. The End!
Bibliography <ul><li>"Magna Carta." History Learning Site . N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2011. <http://www.historylearningsite </li></ul><ul><li>"Magna Carta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna </li></ul><ul><li>"Magna Carta 1215." Middle Ages . N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2011. <http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/magna-carta.htm>. </li></ul><ul><li>"Magna Carta history." St Edmundsbury Borough Council Homepage . N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2011. <http://www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk/sebc/play/history.cfm>. </li></ul><ul><li>"Magna Carta history A.D. 1215 ." History of law . N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2011. <http://www.historyoflaw.info/magna-carta-history-a.d.-1215.html>. </li></ul>
DISCLAIMER: In case the previous slides did not provide enough in-depth information about the Magna Carta, this slide shall fill in the gaps. In 1204, John lost the French territories that his father, Henry II had captured during his reign. Although simple acceptance of the loss would have sufficed, John was eager to renew the war with France. Soon after, he became engaged in a quarrel with Pope Innocent III over the election of the Archbishopric of Canterbury, which resulted in the excommunication of King John in 1209. It was not until 1213 that the dispute was settled, with John agreeing to pay one thousand marks to the Church annually. At the same time, John’s barons were pestering him with petitions to invoke the charter of liberties that had been drafted by King Henry I but never put into effect. The next year, John’s bold attempt to regain his lost property ended in utter failure. To pay for damages and losses, John introduced tax hikes of previously-unseen severity, without prior consultation with his lords. This defied the customary policy of offering warning to the King’s fellow nobility before implementations of new taxes or rules. To make matters worse, John denied all petitions, requests, and pleas for the granting of civil liberties to the barons. For the barons, this was the last straw. Led by “the mareschal of the army of God and of Holy Church” Robert Fitzwalter, the confederate nobles sought nothing short of open rebellion against the King. The mob of barons lay siege to the castle of Northampton on their way to London, where they trashed the King’s entire estate. King John, left with only seven knights, had no choice but to submit to their wishes. Although the original document was only legally valid for three months, the additions and provisions during the years that followed greatly decreased the power of the monarch and ensured rights to many citizens. Some of these rights included habeas corpus , the right to not be arrested arbitrarily, and the right to due process. The Church was given complete freedom from government, likely to avoid the confrontations that were commonplace between John and Innocent III. It took a while for these rights to be enforced, but to this day, they remain keystones in our modern legal system and eternal pillars of democracy.
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