The Story of The Magna Carta

The Story of The Magna Carta

In Medieval England, the feudal system was in place. In this system of government, the peasants were at the bottom and had the least rights. The nobles had more rights than the peasants and could own land, on which the peasants resided. Finally, the king had all the rights over the land and could basically do whatever he wanted.

In the early 13th century, the English people were ruled by a particularly bad king, named John Plantagenet. In fact, this king is believed to be the worst king ever. He imprisoned his wife, starved his opponents to death, and even murdered his own nephew. On top of all that, he had expensive hobbies and imposed extreme taxes.

King John loved going to war. Unfortunately for him, war was an expensive hobby, and he didn't exactly have the funds to go to war as much as he wanted, so he decided to tax his subjects. These taxes went as high as 50% of the dukes' earnings in a year.

King John's dukes were not very fond of paying taxes (just like anyone else), especially not such high taxes, so they decided to do what any normal people would do. They assembled their armies and marched upon London, taking it and then forcing King John to sign the Magna Carta.

The Magna Carta is a document that stated that the king could not do whatever he wanted (impose unreasonable taxes in this case) and he had to obey the law. It also described the law.

Three important laws are:

No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.
To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.
IT IS ACCORDINGLY OUR WISH AND COMMAND that the English Church shall be free, and that men in our kingdom shall have and keep all these liberties, rights, and concessions, well and peaceably in their fullness and entirety for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs, in all things and all places for ever.

There are 60 other laws in the Magna Carta.