Magna Carta

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  • Magna Carta
    • What was Magna Carta?
      • A charter signed in 1215 at Runnymede, an island in the River Thames.
      • Magna Carta is Latin for 'Great Charter'
      • The charter was an agreement between King John and the most senior landowners in England, the barons.
      • The agreement limited the powers of the English King and protected the rights of the barons.
      • It gave Englishmen certain important civil rights such as trial by jury of fellow englishmen.
      • It is regarded as one of the most important documents in English history and helped lead to the creation of the national parliament we have today.
    • Why did King John sign Magna Carta?
      • By 1214, John had fought wars with France, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. In 1214, John lost Poitou, an area of France that had been controlled by England.
      • For five years, churches were closed on the orders of the Pope. People were worried they would go to hell as a result.
      • In 1214 John went to war against the barons.
        • The extra taxes that john had demanded had forced the barons to rebel and form their own army.
      • In 1215, the barons forced King John to sign an agreement at Runnymede. This was Magna Carta.
      • John hoped that signing Magna Carta would stop the barons rebellions.
    • What changes did Magna Carta make?
      • Magna Carta made changes to King John's relations with the Church, the barons and ordinary people.
      • The first part of Magna Carta stated that the King would not interfere with the Church.
      • The next part stated that when a baron inherited land he should not pay more than £100 to the King.
      • Another important part said that the King could not raise any new taxes without the agreement of the barons and bishops.
      • Freemen could not be put in prison without a trial by a jury of freemen. The King's judges had to be fair to everyone.
      • Everyone was free to enter or leave England. They did not need the King's permission.
    • The Importance of Magna Carta
      • Magna Carta was the first time an English King had agreed to protect the rights of Englishmen in writing.
      • The King no longer ruled without the support of the barons and the Church.
      • It gave freemen (people who were not villeins) in England certain rights.
      • Magna Carta protected the rights of the rich and powerful barons and the Church.
    • The Creation of Parliament
      • If a King wanted to raise taxes he had to consult his Great Council, made up of barons and bishops.
      • Under John's son, King Henry III, England's first parliament was called in 1265 by Simon de Montfort.
        • This Parliament contained barons, bishops, 2 knights form each county and some town representative-s.
      • Barons and bishops made up the House of Lords.
      • Knights and townspeople made up the House of Commons. The members of the House of Commons were elected.
      • These changes laid the foundations for the Houses of Parliament we have today.


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