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- DescriptionIn 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 kwn as the Magna Carta. The self-interested barons couldn't have kwn 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 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 ermous debt to this history-changing document.
- Author BiographyDavid Starkey is an Honorary Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and the author of Elizabeth, Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII, and Henry: Virtuous Prince. He is a winner of the Norton Medlicott Medal for Services to History and of the WH Smith Prize. He is well-known for his historical television series focusing on the Tudors, monarchy, and Britain, and for his frequent radio appearances. Starkey was made a CBE in 2007 and lives in London.
- Author(s)David Starkey
- PublisherQuercus Books
- Date of Publication08/09/2015
- SubjectRegional History
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintQuercus Books
- Content Noteillustrations
- Weight544 g
- Width163 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine28 mm
- Format DetailsSewn,Cloth over boards
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