Magna Carta 1215
is Latin and means Great Charter.
Magna Carta so Special?
It holds the king accountable to the law. Magna Carta is the most famous document of English
constitutional history. You can find the original shown above at the
British Library in London.
Magna Carta was written in
Latin and sealed by
King John of
England in the year 1215.
Read the full
English translation of Magna Carta.
Why Was Magna Carta
Magna Carta was written to
prevent misuse of power by the king. Obviously, King John didn't come up with
this sort of document himself. Why did he approve of it anyway?
The Story Behind Magna
King John owned land in France and the French wanted it back. After
waging war with John, the French succeeded for the most part. Having
lost this war, John made life a little harder for his subjects,
for example by demanding very high taxes and by allowing his
deputies to treat the people arbitrarily.