Magna Carta – Andy ChanPosted: November 7, 2011
What is the Magna Carta?
The Magna Carta is a document that King John ofEngland (1166 – 1216) was forced into signing. King John was forced into signing the charter because it greatly reduced the power he held as the King of England and allowed for the formation of a powerful parliament. The Magna Carta became the basis for English citizen’s rights.
What was the purpose of the Magna Carta?
The purpose of the Magna Carta was to curb the King and make him govern by the old English laws. The Magna Carta was a collection of 37 English laws – some copied, some recollected some old and some new. The Magna Carta demonstrated that the power of the king could be limited by a written grant.
Who wrote the Magna Carta?
The content of the Magna Carta was drafted by Archbishop Stephen Langton and the most powerful Barons of England. King John signed the document which was originally called the ‘Articles of the Barons’ on June 10, 1215. The barons renewed the Oath of Fealty to King John on June 15, 1215. The royal chancery produced a formal royal grant, based on the agreements reached atRunnymede, which became known as Magna Carta. Copies of the Magna Carta were distributed to bishops, sheriffs and other important people throughoutEngland.
Events that led King John being forced into the signing of the Magna Carta?
- In 1205 King John quarrelled
with the Pope Innocent III about who should be archbishop of Canterbury. The
Pope wanted a man named Stephen Langton to be archbishop, but King John commanded
he should never come to England.
- In 1209 The pope retaliated,
excommunicated King John and banned all church services in all parish churches
- King John gave in, and Pope
Innocent made the king and people pay him money whenever he demanded it.
- Taxes levied by King John
were extortionate. His reprisals against defaulters were ruthless and his idea
justice was considered avaricious
- In 1212 King John imposes
taxes on the Barons in his attempts to regain the lost lands of Aquitaine,
Poitou and Anjou
- King John quarrels with the
Barons over his methods of ruling England
- The Barons and Stephen
Langton decided to curb the King and make him govern by the old English laws
that had prevailed before the Normans came. The demands of the Barons were
documented in the ‘Articles of the Barons’ in January 1215
- The Barons took up arms
against King John
- The Barons captured London
in May 1215
- In June the Barons, in full armour,
took King John by surprise at Windsor and he agreed to a meeting at Runnymede
- King John signed and sealed
the document on June 10, 1215
- The barons renewed the Oath
of Fealty to King John on June 15, 1215
- The royal chancery produced
a formal royal grant, based on the agreements reached at Runnymede, which
became known as Magna Carta
- Copies of the Magna Carta
were distributed to bishops, sheriffs and other important people throughout
What promis was Magna Carta made for?
Magna Carta promised laws that were good and fair. It states that everyone shall have access to courts and that costs and money should not be an issue if someone wanted to take a problem to the law courts. It also states that no freeman will be imprisoned or punished without first going through the proper legal system. In future years the word “freeman” was replaced by “no one” to include everybody.
Why did King John sign the Magna Carta?
He angered the Roman Catholic Church. The pope, angered by John’s behaviour, banned all church services in England in 1207Religion, and the fear of Hell, were very important to the people including the barons. The Catholic Church taught the people that they could only get to Heaven if the Catholic Church believed that they were good enough to got there.Even worse for John was the fact that the pope excommunicated him in 1209. This meant that John could never get to Heaven
King John’s royal