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The Magna Carta

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The Magna Carta is the first written legal document that was established to successfully limit the power of the English King. This Magna Carta was signed by King John at Runnymede in 1215. This document started a movement in the development of a more liberal and parliamentary government in England and putting the power of the King to a weakened position. The development and the creation of the Magna Carta have greatly influenced the English government and many other nation-states that saw their ideals.

The Latin word, Magna, means Great and Carta means Charter. In other words, Magna Carta means Great Charter. According to The World Book Encyclopedia, page 48b, The Magna Carta was signed by King John. Even though "the ordinary Englishman gained little," (Bryce Lyon, page 48b) the power of the King was drastically weakened and the power of the Noblemen was strengthened. "It is an error to say that Magna Carta guaranteed individual liberties to all men..." and "in later centuries, it became a model for those who demanded democratic government and individual rights for all." (Bryce Lyon, page 48b.) This states that the Magna Carta did not give full rights to every man inside the nation-state of England, but only put the law above the king of England. It also put royal power to a weakened extent compared to that of the noblemen's and the law's extent.

After the Magna Carta was written and signed, England went through a series of wars. King John received permission from the Pope to disown his signature in order to cut off the Magna Carta from being put into effect. (Britannia History "The Magna Carta") This started the First Barons' War, in which King John fought for years until his death. King Henry III, King John's son, took over the throne and fought against the Barons and Prince/Saint Louis of France for the nullification of the Magna Carta and to regain the power of absolutism. Henry III soon defeats his Barons in the Second Barons War, but suffers many defeats against the French. Edward I took the throne years later and defeated the French. He then accepted the Magna Carta and established the Parliaments of England. He, with his government's permissions, conquered Wales and gained control of the Kingdom of Scotland.

The Magna Carta was passed down by King Edward I and many devastating wars were brought to take advantage of the weakened king that was thought to be powerless. In Magna Carta (Revised Edition), it states that many wars followed the Magna Carta's supplementation towards the law. For example, the First and Second Barons' War was a civil war between the King and his Barons. After that, many rebellions and civil wars followed. After these events, the Magna Carta was reestablished but was revised to bring a little more power to the king of England. The Hundred Years War took place later and after that, the War of the Roses took place. The Magna Carta was known to



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