Magna carta

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  • Magna Carta 1215
    • Causes
      • John had a lot to live up to
        • Divine right
        • Father succesful
        • Feudal system
        • There was a Great council but he didn't have to listen
        • Expected to be a good soldier and gain support from barons
      • John had a disagreement with the pope
        • John refused to accept langdon as archbishop of canterbury (advises king) - felt he was too loyal to the pope
        • Pope banned church services in England and marriages and funerals - people were scared they'd go to hell if they didn't attend
      • Scutage
        • John nicknames like "soft-sword" from barons
        • Tax john charged barons to pay for France war
        • John lost wars causing barons to be angry
      • Lost crown jewels
        • Made people question his competency
    • Development
      • Main clauses of magna carta
        • "English church shall be free"
        • "No scutage"
        • "No free man shall be seized or imprisoned... except by the lawful judgement"
        • 25 Barons must be elected to watch over him
      • Barons put together army
        • Led by Fitzwater
        • Sent to occupy London
        • John had no choice other than to negotiate (needed to raise own army)
      • Signed Magna Carta
        • Runnymede
        • 63 clauses
        • Had no intention of keeping promise. Agreed so potential war would end
    • Consequences
      • 1. John went back on his word
        • Used magna carta as a delaying tactic to build army
        • Pope stated magna carta was invalid
      • 2. Civil war was declared
      • Barons had support from French and control over london
      • 3. Barons occupied Rochester castle
        • John army waited and starved barons out
        • Johns army stormed castle and he controlled most of England and wales again
      • 4. Prince Louis arrived to support barons
        • May 1216
        • In return Louis would have throne of England
        • Louis took land from rebel barons and gave it to loyal ones to gain support
        • Louis was announced king but not crowned at St Pauls cathedral
        • Finally, John dies. Barons don't need Louis anymore and crown 9 yo Henry (Johns son). Barons reissue magna carta which Henry signs.
    • Significance
      • Short term
        • Only affected barons and freemen at the time
        • Limited power of monarch for the first time but king could still ignore if he wished
      • Long term
        • Important symbolic step toward democracy
        • Inspiration for thigs like the American bill of rights
        • Introduced idea that even kings should obey law
        • Can be seen as the basis for law and human rights across the world
  • John had a lot to live up to
    • Divine right
    • Father succesful
    • Feudal system
    • There was a Great council but he didn't have to listen
    • Expected to be a good soldier and gain support from barons

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