King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta in June of 1215 by the Barons, who had taken over London and nearly captured the king at Windsor in retaliation for the heavy taxes imposed on them. Even after signing the final version of the document that would become the Magna Carta at Runnymede, King John had no intention of adhering to the agreement, which led to the Baron's War.
The king imposed the exorbitant taxes on the Barons and the English people to pay to Pope Innocent III as recompense for retaliating against the Pope's choice for archbishop of Canterbury and to fund expeditions to attempt to regain the lost territories of Aquitaine, Poitou and Anjou. The Barons did not agree with the ruthless way that the king ruled. In an attempt to bring the king under control, the Barons drew up a list of their demands known as the Articles of the Barons in January of 1215. The Barons then began to fight the king with physical force, capturing London in May and forcing the king to agree to the meeting at Runnymede in June. Once the Magna Carta was signed, the Barons renewed the Oath of Fealty to the king. Copies of the Magna Carta were distributed to bishops, sheriffs and other nobles in England.Learn More
The Berlin Conference was a series of meetings held in 1884 and 1885 with the goal of dividing the continent of Africa between the European powers. As countries scrambled to establish colonies on the continent, the heads of state wanted to head off any potential conflicts between them over territory.Full Answer >
The term sometimes applies to Europe as a whole, but the Balkans are the specific region known as the Powder Keg of Europe. The region was politically unstable during the years before World War I, and tensions there ultimately culminated in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and the outbreak World War I. The term itself likely originated from a quote by Chancellor Otto von Bismarck of Germany.Full Answer >
Mexico gained its independence from Spain when Miguel Hidalgo called for a war against the Spaniards; Mexico won the war in 1821. Before the war was over and Mexico gained its independence, the Spanish army murdered Hidalgo.Full Answer >
Sir Isaac Newton had no full siblings. He did have one half brother and two half sisters. Their names were Benjamin Smith, Mary Smith and Hannah Smith Pilkington.Full Answer >