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In this erudite, entertaining book, award-winning historian and television presenter David Starkey untangles historical and modern misconceptions about one of the founding documents of democracy. Along the way, he shows how the Magna Carta laid the foundation for the British constitution, influenced the American Revolution and the U.S. constitution, and continues to shapeIn this erudite, entertaining book, award-winning historian and television presenter David Starkey untangles historical and modern misconceptions about one of the founding documents of democracy. Along the way, he shows how the Magna Carta laid the foundation for the British constitution, influenced the American Revolution and the U.S. constitution, and continues to shape jurisprudential thinking about individual rights around the world today.In 1215, King John I of England faced a domestic crisis. He had just lost an expensive campaign to retake his ancestral lands in France, an unfortunate adventure that he had funded by heavily taxing the baronial lords of England. Sick of the unpopular king's heavy-handed rule, and unimpressed by the king's unsuccessful attempt to seize Normandy, the feudal barons united to make demands of their sovereign for certain protections. These demands, the "Articles of the Barons," were submitted to the king in rough draft after the rebels occupied three cities, most significantly London. A few years later, after being edited and amplified by the then-Archbishop of Canterbury, the Articles would come to be known as the Magna Carta. The self-interested barons couldn't have known it at the time, but those demands would one day become the bedrock of democratic political development around the globe--even though that influence was largely due to mythologizing by later scholars who warped the symbolism of the document to support their arguments in favor of the rights of all citizens.Although the Magna Carta itself made no requests on behalf of the peasantry, in its structure the outlines of modern democratic reform are plainly visible. Among other things, it demanded limits on the ability of the crown to levy taxes; protection of the rights of the church; the guarantee of swift justice; and a ban on unjust imprisonment. Those protections and guarantees were strictly intended for benefit of feudal barons, but the free citizens of today's democratic nations owe an enormous debt to this history-changing document....

Title : Magna Carta: The Medieval Roots of Modern Politics
Author :
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ISBN : 9781681446004
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Magna Carta: The Medieval Roots of Modern Politics Reviews

  • Bfisher
    2018-10-01 12:05

    A succinct description of the infancy of Magna Carta, as it developed in the immediate aftermath of Runnymede.

  • Argum
    2018-09-29 12:23

    In honor of the 800th anniversary of the First Magna Carta, Starkey wrote this book focusing on the 10 years after the 1215 sealing of the first document. As an American, I agree with Starkey that the Magna Carta is very much a part of our story, but I had no idea how little I really knew about it. Basic story, king is being nasty, barons revolt and get some assurances of basic rights and fairness in law. But no there is so much more like two documents more, an extra king, and some serious papal involvement. Very interesting history and an engaging writing style. All the years on television have certainly removed the dryness from his historical presentation

  • Daniel
    2018-10-17 14:55

    It is perhaps fitting that the first book I finish in 2016 is a book on the Magna Carta, particularly given the fact that I began the book in 2015. For while this celebrated charter was first crafted in 1215, it did not become truly effective until 1216 when, thanks to the intervention of the great William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, it became a peace-offering between the barons and the new King Henry III, the son of the hapless John.

  • Scott
    2018-09-30 17:19

    Although sketchy - this book apparently accompanied a British 800th anniversary celebration - this book outlines the revolutionary nature of Magna Carta, the contending parties, and most interestingly from my perspective, lays side by side the 1215, 1216 and 1225 versions. Who knew?