Author: Dan Jones
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Release Date: 2014-12-04
On a summer's day in 1215 a beleaguered English monarch met a group of disgruntled barons in a meadow by the river Thames named Runnymede. Beset by foreign crisis and domestic rebellion, King John was fast running out of options. On 15 June he reluctantly agreed to fix his regal seal to a document that would change the world. A milestone in the development of constitutional politics and the rule of law, the 'Great Charter' established an Englishman's right to Habeas Corpus and set limits to the exercise of royal power. For the first time a group of subjects had forced an English king to agree to a document that limited his powers by law and protected their rights. Dan Jones's elegant and authoritative narrative of the making and legacy of Magna Carta is amplified by profiles of the barons who secured it and a full text of the charter in both Latin and English.
The Magna Carta, or “The Great Charter of the Liberties” is one of the most important historical documents in English history and serves as a philosophical basis for democratic monarchy and civil liberties. The charter was originally drafted in response to a political crisis during the reign of King John who faced opposition from the church and from a group of rebellious barons. The Magna Carta placed restrictions on the monarch and provided an important precedent in suggesting that the king, like everyone else, was subject to the laws of the land. Though the Magna Carta was nullified shortly after it was signed into law in 1215, it continued to influence the philosophies on which the English and American political systems are based. HarperTorch brings great works of non-fiction and the dramatic arts to life in digital format, upholding the highest standards in ebook production and celebrating reading in all its forms. Look for more titles in the HarperTorch collection to build your digital library.
Author: Nicholas Vincent
Release Date: 2016-01-08
Magna Carta is the most famous document in English history. And yet its survival is purely accidental. King John, who negotiated the document with his rebellious barons, had no intention of honouring its contents. Annulled by the pope within weeks of being issued, it was destined to oblivion. But with the sudden death of John, all of this changed. Magna Carta was reissued by the regents of the boy King Henry III as an apology for past misrule and as a promise of future good government. It was reissued on successive occasions and repeatedly cited in legal cases in the following centuries. Later, it played a part in conflicts such as the English Civil War and the US Wars of Independence. Echoes of Magna Carta are to be found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. It continues to be cited today as a touchstone of fundamental universal freedoms. This book tells the story of the birth and development of Magna Carta from its origins to the modern day. It also reproduces and describes, for the very first time, every surviving copy of the Great Charter, as well as related charters of the period, including various new discoveries. It addresses the previously unanswered question of how the charter was published and disseminated to the shires of England and includes a chapter on the charter's scribes and sealing, supplying a truly unique insight into both the creation and afterlife of the most fundamental legal document in British history.
Author: Dan Jones
Release Date: 2015-10-20
"Dan Jones has an enviable gift for telling a dramatic story while at the same time inviting us to consider serious topics like liberty and the seeds of representative government." —Antonia Fraser From the New York Times bestselling author of The Plantagenets, a lively, action-packed history of how the Magna Carta came to be. The Magna Carta is revered around the world as the founding document of Western liberty. Its principles—even its language—can be found in our Bill of Rights and in the Constitution. But what was this strange document and how did it gain such legendary status? Dan Jones takes us back to the turbulent year of 1215, when, beset by foreign crises and cornered by a growing domestic rebellion, King John reluctantly agreed to fix his seal to a document that would change the course of history. At the time of its creation the Magna Carta was just a peace treaty drafted by a group of rebel barons who were tired of the king's high taxes, arbitrary justice, and endless foreign wars. The fragile peace it established would last only two months, but its principles have reverberated over the centuries. Jones's riveting narrative follows the story of the Magna Carta's creation, its failure, and the war that subsequently engulfed England, and charts the high points in its unexpected afterlife. Reissued by King John's successors it protected the Church, banned unlawful imprisonment, and set limits to the exercise of royal power. It established the principle that taxation must be tied to representation and paved the way for the creation of Parliament. In 1776 American patriots, inspired by that long-ago defiance, dared to pick up arms against another English king and to demand even more far-reaching rights. We think of the Declaration of Independence as our founding document but those who drafted it had their eye on the Magna Carta. From the Hardcover edition.
"It takes us on a journey from the charter's medieval origins through to what it means to people around the world today. Drawing on the rich historical collections of the British Library - including two original copies of Magna Carta from 1215 - the catalogue brings to life the history and contemporary resonance of this globally important document"--Cover flap.
Author: Nicholas Vincent
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2012-06-28
Magna Carta has long been considered the foundation stone of the British Constitution, yet few people today understand either its contents or its context. With a full English translation of the 1215 charter, Nicholas Vincent introduces the document to a modern audience; explaining its origins and tracing the significance of its role in our history.
Author: Andrew Blick
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2015-04-30
The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta falls in June 2015. In this work Dr Blick argues that this event should be the occasion for a reassessment of the past, present and future of the UK constitution. He draws on his experience as research fellow to the first ever parliamentary inquiry into the possibility of a written constitution for the UK. Dr Blick considers a series of English and UK historical texts from Anglo-Saxon times onwards, among which Magna Carta is the most prominent, which sought to set out arrangements for the governance of England and later the UK as a whole. He argues that they comprise a powerful tradition of written constitutional documents, and stresses the importance of the European dimension to their introduction and content. The author then considers the present nature of the UK constitution, describing the period of immense flux through which it has passed in recent decades, and the implications of this phase of change. Dr Blick identifies a need for a full written constitution for the UK as the next appropriate step. Finally, he discusses the democratic processes suitable to devising such a text, and what its contents might be. 'With this book Andrew Blick has made a major contribution to our understanding of how our system of government has worked in the past, how it is working ? or not working ? now, and what it could be in the future. Combing the centuries, he challenges many misconceptions and makes a powerful case for a written constitution. This volume is absolutely essential to anyone who wants to appreciate the real meaning of Magna Carta and why we should celebrate it.' Graham Allen MP, Chair, House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee 'Beyond Magna Carta brings together the utility of a road map with the fascination of a changing cartography of political thought ? all part of the constitutional development of these islands from the Great Charter of 1215 to the confusing aftermath of the Scottish Referendum of 2014. It is a superb work of explanation capped by intriguing suggestions of future possibilities.' Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield, FBA, Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History, Queen Mary, University of London.
Author: Rachael Bell
Publisher: Massey University Press
Release Date: 2017-02-01
It’s 175 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. At times they’ve been years of conflict and bitterness, but there have also been remarkable gains, and positive changes that have made New Zealand a distinct nation. This book takes of stock of where we’ve been, where we are headed — and why it matters. Written by some of the country’s leading scholars and experts in the field, it ranges from the impact of the Treaty on everything from resource management to school governance. Its focus is the application of the Treaty from the viewpoint of practitioners — the people who are walking and talking it in their jobs, communities or everyday lives — and it vividly tracks the ups and downs of bringing the spirit and principles of the Treaty to fruition. It asks: Is the settlements process at a problematic crossroads? Why do so many school boards of trustees fail to ensure the success of their Māori pupils? What does it really mean to be a Treaty-aware Pākehā? Why do some New Zealanders persist in thinking that Māori enjoy special privileges — and why is this dangerous? How do we ‘rethink normal’? How does the Treaty belong to not only our history but also our contemporary life?
Author: Zbigniew Rau
Release Date: 2016-03-31
To mark the 800th anniversary of the ratification of the Magna Carta by King John at Runnymede, Magna Carta provides the central European perspectives on this monumental document and its impact on the political and legal experiences of freedom, from the medieval period to the present day. The volume gives rise to a discussion about the legacy of the Magna Carta as one of the fundamental elements of European identity. Supported by previously untranslated sources at the end of each chapter, the team of contributors consider the lasting legacy of Magna Carta in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Lithuania. The authors present the successful attempts to limit royal power by law while protecting the priveleges of the nobility carried out throughout the region from the thirteenth to eighteenth centuries. Each chapter considers the historical and political contexts behind these efforts, the processes by which political and legal institutions were subsequently formed and finally examines the legacy of those institutions which are today found in constitutional identities, constitutional arrangements and political projects across Central Europe. A preface by Robert Blackburn draws the collection together, highlighting the continued universal significance of the Magna Carta. This original title will enable students and academics alike to see for themselves the reverberations the Magna Carta caused in medieval Europe and beyond from a fresh and unusual perspective.
A deep and gorgeous study of the Magna Carta and how it still influences our world. The year 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the Great Charter imposed on King John by his barons in the thirteenth century to ensure he upheld traditional customs of the nobility. Though it began as a safeguard of the aristocracy, over the past 800 years, the Magna Carta has become a cornerstone of democratic ideals for all. After centuries of obscurity, the Magna Carta was rediscovered in the seventeenth century, and has informed numerous documents upholding human rights, including the American Declaration of Independence, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, and the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For Canadians, it has informed key documents from the Royal Proclamation of 1763 that shaped the then-British Colonies and their relations with First Nations, to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This book complements the 2015 Magna Carta Canada exhibition of the Durham Cathedral Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest.
Author: Stephen Winter
Release Date: 2017-09-18
This volume is the first to explore the vibrant history of Magna Carta in Aotearoa New Zealand’s legal, political and popular culture. Readers will benefit from in-depth analyses of the Charter’s reception along with explorations of its roles in regard to larger constitutional themes. The common thread that binds the collection together is its exploration of what the adoption of a medieval charter as part of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements has meant – and might mean – for a Pacific nation whose identity remains in flux. The contributions to this volume are grouped around three topics: remembrance and memorialization of Magna Carta; the reception of the Charter by both Māori and non-Māori between 1840 and 2015; and reflection on the roles that the Charter may yet play in future constitutional debate. This collection provides evidence of the enduring attraction of Magna Carta, and its importance as a platform of constitutional aspiration.
'A soaring account of the months that transformed a messy feudal squabble into Magna Carta...his crisp storytelling, based around short chapters and rolling rhetoric, is extremely entertaining.' Dan Jones, Mail on Sunday 'I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Good history is descriptive, narrative and analytical. This is good history.' Gerard DeGroot, The Times At Runnymede, on the banks of the River Thames, on 15 June 1215, the seal of King John was attached to the Magna Carta, and peace descended upon the land. Or that's what successive generations have believed. But is it true? And have we been persuaded (or persuaded ourselves) that the events of 15 June 1215 not only ended a civil war between the king and the barons but - as if by magic - established a British constitution beloved and copied throughout the world? Often viewed as a victory for the people over the monarchy and a cornerstone of democracy, the true significance of Magna Carta is misunderstood and misrepresented. In Magna Carta: The True Story Behind the Charter, David Starkey paints a vivid portrait of the years 1215-1225, ten revolutionary years of huge significance that produced not one but four charters. Peopled by colourful historical figures - John, the boy-king Henry, Pope Innocent III, Archbishop Stephen Langton, William Marshal - Starkey tells a story of treachery and idealism, politics and peace-making that is surprising and enthralling. Informative, entertaining and controversial, Magna Carta: The True Story Behind the Charter challenges centuries of myth-making to demonstrate how important it is we understand the true significance of that day beside the Thames, eight hundred years ago.
Author: Dan Jones
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Release Date: 2015-09-30
1215 – the penultimate year of the reign of a king with the worst reputation of any in our history – saw England engulfed by crisis. Weakened by the loss of Normandy, King John faced insurrection by his disgruntled barons. With the assistance of the Archbishop of Canterbury, they drew up a list of their demands. In June, in a quiet Thames-side water-meadow, John attached his regal seal – under oath – to a charter that set limits on regal power. In return, the barons renewed their vows of fealty. Groundbreaking though 'Magna Carta' was, it had scant immediate impact as England descended into civil war that would still be raging when John died the following year. Dan Jones's vivid account of the vicissitudes of feudal power politics and the workings of 13th-century government is interwoven with a exploration of the lives of ordinary people: how and where they worked, what they wore, what they ate, and what role the Church played in their lives.
Author: Robert Hazell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2015-04-30
Magna Carta is celebrated around the world as a symbol of limited government and constitutionalism. But in 1215 Magna Carta was a failure, abrogated within months. Why then do we celebrate this piece of parchment? To mark the 800th anniversary this book brings together top scholars from the UK, US and Australia to answer this question and analyse Magna Carta's historic and contemporary influence. Using a political science framework, Magna Carta and its Modern Legacy draws from scholarship on influence and constitutional design to explain how parchment can contain executive power. Individual chapters on Britain discuss such topics as socioeconomic rights in Magna Carta; Magna Carta and the British constitution; and public understanding of the charter. Internationally focused chapters look at Magna Carta and jury trial in America, slavery in the Caribbean, court delays in the Pacific, the proportionality principle, and judicial supremacy.