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What is a summary of the Magna Carta?

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The Magna Carta was the first written document presented to King John of England by his subjects intended to restrict his power and protect their rights. Historians consider it a major milestone in the history of constitutional law.

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From 1209 to 1215, a series of unsuccessful military campaigns abroad, high taxes at home and conflicts with Pope Innocent III had made King John of England very unpopular. Rebellious barons conspired to force King John into signing the Magna Carta. The document guaranteed freedom for the English Church, protection of the law for all free men and freedom from excessive fines and taxation.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why was the Magna Carta so important?

    A:

    The Magna Carta (which is Latin for Great Paper, or Great Charter) was so important because it effectively forced the reigning monarch to grant his English subjects rights. It laid the foundations for Parliament and constitutional governments.

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  • Q:

    In which language was the Magna Carta written?

    A:

    The Magna Carta was written in medieval Latin. Although most of the charter is not pertinent to modern times, it guarantees an individual's right to due process, requiring that certain legal procedures must be followed.

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  • Q:

    What did the Magna Carta guarantee?

    A:

    The Magna Carta prevented King John of England and future kings from arbitrarily collecting tax revenue and from selling, denying or delaying justice. It also established the right to due process and religious freedom. King John accepted and signed the 63-chapter Magna Carta in order to ease tensions with his subjects.

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  • Q:

    What is the definition of "Magna Carta"?

    A:

    "Magna carta" is a Latin term which literally translates as "great charter." The famous Magna Carta of 1215 was sealed by King John at Runnymede, England, on June 15 of that year.

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