The Magna Carta’s Influence Throughout The World

3019 words - 13 pages

Many documents have been made in history; some being more famous than others, such as The Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. One of the most famous documents in history, has been called the “Origin of Liberty” and, to an extent “The Bible of Liberty”. It is the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta changed history forever, limiting the powers of English royalty and being an influence for liberty, freedom, and equality ever since. It had a different meaning when it was sealed in 1215, though. At first, the Magna Carta was just to keep King John of England, ruler of the time, in check from destroying England’s economy. The roots of the Magna Carta started to come about over 800 years ...view middle of the document...

John responded by expelling all of the Catholic monks out of the town of Canterbury. That just made matters worse, making Innocent place an interdict on England in 1208.”(Kasper, pg. 549) This meant that public worship, marriage, church bells, ceremonial burial, ect. were all illegal in England. The interdict on England made the people rebel, making it easy for King Philip to invade England. The invasion made King John have to give Ireland to France as part of the peace deal so that the French wouldn’t take over more important English territories. This ended King John’s hopes of taking back the lost French territories. To make up for the losses in the war, King John taxed the people of England even more. This was the final straw for the English royalty known as the Barons.
“The Barons originally wanted to overthrow John, but there were no other fitting rulers or heirs. So, they invented a new type of focus for their revolt: a program of reform.” (Gillingham) So, in January, 1215, the Barons had a list of demands for King John. King John replied saying that he would answer them in June. On June 15, 1215, King John sealed the, what would be known to be, Magna Carta at Runnymede. The Magna Carta was influenced from the Domes Day Book and the Charter of Liberties, two other English documents that were written earlier in time. It contained clauses that covered a variety of laws, from all debts to King John were eliminated, to the laws of heirs and widows, to “no one is forced to build a bridge over a river”. (Magna Carta para. 17)
“The Magna Carta of 1215, however was an absolute failure. It was only enforced for a couple of weeks before King John was able to convince Pope Innocent III to declare the document null and void and, to an extent, unlawful on August 15.”(Kasper pg. 550-551) The people of England were very angry at King John, so they decided that a rebellion was necessary.
All of these issues lead England into a civil war, a war between two parts of the country, with King John against the Magna Carta Barons. The Barons captured the Canterbury Castle as a strategic territory very early in the war, which was later taken back by King John, along with most of the Baron’s English territory. Then, John started taking over Scotland, the next most logical target because it was very close and they had a small army, who was ruled by a man named Alexander, the current King of Scotland. The invasion of Scotland left southern and eastern England open to invasion from the Barons, though.
The Barons then asked King Louis of France to lead them in battle against King John, so that they would have a skilled military leader. King Louis agreed and launched an invasion of England. King John’s opposing naval fleet was scattered and divided, allowing King Louis’s troops to land in the town of Kent in May, 1216 almost unopposed. Using the power of the rebel and the French army, the rebels captured southwest and some of northern England.
In September, King...

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