Magna Carta Essay

Submitted By Irishman40
Words: 994
Pages: 4

Marty Hawkins
Research paper #1
Magna Carta
Cornerstone University
May 15, 2013

One of the most important documents ever created like our American Constitution of 1787; was the Magna Carta of 1215. I going to explain The Magna Carta and why it was created, and that it has similarities to our Constitutional Government and Individual Rights. It was on June 15, 1215 in a field at Runnymede, that King John affixed his seal to the Magna Carta. He was confronted by 40 rebellious Barons; he consented to their demands in order to avoid civil war. Now if we back up a few years to how this all came about. It was in 1164 the Constitution of Clarendon limited the church’s appeals to Rome and placed the cloth under the jurisdiction of civil courts. King Henry II had the influence of who he wanted as bishops. This made the Clergy very upset and so were the nobles, who saw their economy and religious relationships with their church more than unsettled. So pretty much the King had control over the churches and the lands of the people. Things would take a turn for the worse when King Henry II’s successors, his two sons, would become tyrants. His eldest son Richard the Lionhearted loved adventure. When he took the throne in 1189, he started raising money for a crusade. At any means possible. He would sell cities, charter of freedom, fire officials who opposed and hired those who would pay. He even granted Scotland independence for only 15,000 marks. Within 6 months, he had the entire England treasury, and all the taxes he could get from the land and set off for Palestine. This is what too much power in the hands of a tyrant king can happen. While just starting his crusade, Duke Leopold of Austria, this was a noble man that King Richard had offended in the past, interrupted King Richard’s crusade and captured him. Duke Leopold turned him over to Emperor Henry VI of France, yet another man of nobility who held a grudge against England’s King Richard. As a measure of his anger, Emperor Henry VI demanded from Britain a ransom equal to twice the annual income of the Royal British purse. While King Richard sat in prison, his brother, John, would try and seize the throne. He was as arrogant as King Richard was bold. John would fail at seizing the throne and would flee to France where he would attack British holdings and offer bribes to Henry to keep Richard in prison. Eleanor, mother of both feuding brothers, had great difficulty, but was able to raise Richard’s ransom. King Richard would return home, still as bold and arrogant as ever. He would raise taxes on the people and raise more troops, and attacking France, and retaking territory England had lost to Emperor Henry. Finally Greed and too much power would catch up with King Richard as the French viscount would kill him by arrow. No with Richard out of the way John became King. King John was worse off than Richard ever was. He would mock the clergy beliefs and lose English provinces in France when his oppressive measures caused their nobility to revolt. The Pope would not support the King’s blasphemous reach. King John and Pope Innocent’s arguments grew so heated that the Pope removed from England all religious services except baptism and extreme unction. The King was so insulted that he seized papal properties, indiscriminately fathered illegitimate children, jailed Jews, and seized their money. He would increase taxes even more on the nobility, and enforced without waiver the hated forestry laws. Pope Innocent finally had enough and in 1213, threw the weight of the church behind France’s King Philip, in his effort to unseat King John. King John would try and summon the nobles to defend the crown, but would see his efforts fall short, as he had no support from them. When King John seen he could not win he then