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Magna Carta

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Autor: 24  •  November 2, 2010  •  270 Words (2 Pages)  •  800 Views

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The Magna Carta set out a series of limitations on the power of the English kings and was taken from King John by a council of nobles, bishops and merchants at Runnymede in Berkshire on June 15th, 1215. It has been seen as the first step in the formation of democratic power in England.

The charter was outlined after intense negotiations following King John's failure to recover his lost French lands at the battle of Bouvines in 1214. His time as King had been described by cruelty, too much for a cruel age, especially in his efforts to control the barony that he thought of disloyal intentions. When his military system failed his abuse of royal power, the barons took advantage of the opportunity to force his signature on a statement of their rights.

The Charter required the King not to force tribute or military contribution without the permission of the Grand Council, and not to detain or fine individuals without the decision of their peers in accordance with the laws of the land. Originally limited in scope to the nobles, member of the clergy and other magnate, the principles of Magna Carta were reissued after John's death in new versions in 1216 and 1217, and in 1225 as the struggle to limit the powers of the new king, Henry III was continued by the barons. Thereafter the Magna Carta was often referred to in Parliament and the courts as a statement of law and many of the rights it contained, such as freedom from the arbitrary and cruel use of state power, would be slowly extended to all citizens.


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