Magna Carta Facts

Magna Carta Facts
Magna Carta is the name given to a charter that was originally agreed upon in 1215 by rebel barons and King John of England as a means to end the king's political crisis. It did not get the name Magna Carta until 1217. Magna Carta, also referred to as Magna Carta Libertatum, is Latin for 'the Great Charter'. It was known at the time as the Charter of Liberties. The charter was meant to guarantee legal rights to all while limiting the crown's power. The rebels felt that the king's demand for high taxes was unjust, as he needed the money to pay for the expensive (unsuccessful) wars against France.
Interesting Magna Carta Facts:
The Magna Carta is essentially a medieval document that has become one of history's most important legal documents, setting out the concept of protecting the rights of individuals while holding governments accountable for their actions.
Magna Carta was agreed upon on June 15th, 1215.
Magna Carta was important to the power of the royal family because it ensured that it was not above the law and put limits on its power.
Magna Carta was initially meant to be implemented by 25 barons.
Although Magna Carta is considered to be important, only three of the clauses in the original document are still law today.
The clause giving 'free men' the right to a fair trial and proper justice did not actually apply to the majority of people. Most people in England at the time were not 'free men' - they were peasants and had to seek justice through their lords.
Magna Carta, as it was agreed upon in 1215, was initially a failure. Within a few months of the agreement both sides had broken the agreement.
Pope Innocent III annulled Magna Carta in August 1215 after deciding it had been created under duress.
Soon after the failure and annulment of Magna Carta, the First Baron's War broke out.
King John of England died in 1216 and his son Henry was crowned King. With the new king Magna Carta was reinstated. Some of the original clauses were omitted.
In 1225 Henry III issued a new version of Magna Carta.
Only four copies of the original document that was sent to sheriffs and bishops across England still exist. They are located in Salisbury, Lincoln, and two in the British Library.
In 2007 a privately owned copy of the original Magna Carta, written on parchment paper, was sold at auction for more than $21 million.
Some believe that the date that Magna Carta was originally signed and sealed was not June 15th, 1215. They believe that the final document took several days to finalize and that it was not sealed until June 19th, 1215.
The three laws of Magna Carta still in effect include 1) the law defending the English church's freedom and rights; 2) the law confirming customs and liberties of London and other towns in England; 3) the foundation of the concept of the right to fair trial and trial by jury.


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