Overview Originally created in 1215 because of disagreements between Pope Innocent III, King John, and English barons about the rights of the king. Been known to be first document that limit the power of the English king by law (based of a document called the Charters of Liberties The Magna Carta has had influence outside of England, especially with the United States Constitution, and Bill of Rights. Basically almost every common law state has been influenced by the Magna Carta. Making it one of the most important legal documents in the history of democracy. The document has been renewed throughout the Middle Ages through the 18th century. By the 19th century most of the clauses have been repealed for English Law.
Events Leading to the Magna Carta King John (leader of England), lost much land and respect from French Barons. A slave to John, his ally Phillip named Arthur to the throne of Anjou. They then invaded John’s French land holdings. To save face John killed Arthur and lost the respect of many of the French Barons. John was defeated by his allies at the Battle of Bouvines where he lost all his northern French territory.
Events Leading to the Magna Carta Problems with the Church In the debate of how to choose a Archbishop of Canterbury, John sent the Bishop of Norwich instead of one of the monks they elected. Pope Innocent III declared this as invalid and had the monks elect Stephen Langton, but King John refused this and exiled monks from the land. He then put a halt on the church to prevent worship in England in 1208. The pope then excommunicated John, and backed Philip to invade England in 1212. John, threatened by the monks gave back their theifdom* by giving them land in England, and Ireland making them pay 1,000 marks annually to do so. This angered the Barons * The fact or practice of thieving
Events Leading to the Magna Carta Taxes During this time the government needed money, since mercenary soldiers cost double in prosperity times. The loss of a great mass of the French lands equals less income, which later resulted in greater taxes. Gave rise to the amount of scutage* to pay eleven times in only seven years. John also imposed the first income tax which was at high sums of 60,000 Euros. *A tax paid in lieu of military service in feudal times.
Events leading to the Magna Carta Rebellion Getting frustrated with listening to King John during the time, they gave up rise. By 1215, many barons of England banded together at London by force on June 10, 1215. Made King John sign a document called the “Articles of the Barons,” which his seal was attached in Runnymede on June 15, 1215. After John signed this document the barons then renewed their oaths to the king.
John of England signs Magna Carta
The Magna Carta Originally named “Articles of the Barons” which was reissued a year later, and officially dubbed the title the Magna Carta. Was written originally in Latin. King John had no plans to honor the Magna Carta, since it was sealed under extortion by force, but clause 61 neutered his power has a monarch. In the centuries following the document it was modified to fit the changing times but the basic clauses are still in the document today.
Original Magna Carta
What the Magna Carta did? Firstly, the Magna Carta guaranteed the freedom of the English Church. Not to be able to over tax the population. King John must be less harsh on the barons. Gave England the basis of a legal system. Promised to have laws that are good and fair. No Freeman would be punished without going through a proper trial.
Influence on today The Magna Carta gave the basis of how Constitutional Law is today. Has influenced the United States greatly which is seen in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Just about all common law has been affected by the Magna Carta, making it one of the most important legal documents in the history of Democracy.
1297 copy of the Magna Carta, owned by the Australian Government