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The Magna Carta Essay

  • Submitted by: sexyeshia
  • on December 16, 2008
  • Category: History
  • Length: 422 words

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Below is an essay on "The Magna Carta" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The great charter of English liberties ranted by King John in 1215 under the threat of civil war. It was reissued twice, once in 1216 and 1217 with omissions and alterations.
As the conqueror of England, William I had secured for himself and his immediate successors a position of unprecedented power. He had been able to dominate not only the country he had conquered but the barons who had helped him win it and the ecclesiastics (priests) who served the English church. He had forced the pope to be content with indirect control over the church in a land, which the papacy (office of the pope) had regarded as bound by the closest ties to Rome. The conqueror’s son Henry I, whose accession (taking office) was challenged by his eldest brother, Robert, duke of Normandy, felt himself bound to make, to both his clerical and lay baronage, concessions (compromises) and promises that were expressed in the most solemn form of document known to contemporary law and practice, a charter sealed with the charter. His successor, Steven, whose hold on the throne was threatened by Henry I’s daughter Matilda, again issued a solemn charter with even more generous promises of good government in church and state. There developed facts, through the 12th century, a continuous tradition that the king’s coronation oath should be strengthened by written promises sealed with the king’s seal. But as the volume of common law increased during this period, and during Henry II’s reign, no converse (opposite) definition had been secured in regard to the financial liabilities of the baronage to the crown, and there had been no definition of the rights of justice over their own men which the baronage had inherited from the Anglo-Saxon of from their own feudal past.
Increased taxation of Richard I’s reign, resulting from his crusade, his ransom and his war with France, would in any case have made difficulties for his successor. John’s position was made even weaker because of the rival claim to the...

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