Magna Carta Timeline

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  • 1204: King John of England loses his ancestral lands in Normandy. Over the next decade, he will struggle to regain them with expensive, unsuccessful battles that provoke anger amongst barons.

    1207: Pope Innocent III and King John disagree on the candidates for the Archbishop of Canterbury, which is the highest religious position in England. King John ignores the Popes authority in the appointment.

    1208-1213: Pope Innocent III places an Interdict on England, which denies the country of the sacraments and burials on consecrated grounds. This ends when John gives into Papal authority.

    Power Struggles Between King John of England, Barons & Church

    Pre-13th century: Kings lead by vis et voluntas or force and will.

    June 1214: With tensions mounting between the barons and the King, this radical document is sealed by King John in a desperate attempt to avoid civil war. It states that nobody, including the king, is above the law of the land.

    Magna Carta Drafted and Sealed

    September 1215: At the request of King John of England, the Pope declares Magna Carta to be null and void because John had been forced to accept it. As a result, a civil war erupts.

    1216: After King Johns death, his young son Henry IIIs regency government issues a revised version of Magna Carta in order to win supporters.

    1297: Upon his coronation, King Edward I reissues the 1225 version of Magna Carta and confirms it as part of Englands statute law.

    1354: King Edward III extends Magna Carta to all men, not just free men.

    Civil War Erupts, Magna Carta Transforms

    1627: In reaction to the tactics King Charles I used during his personal rule Parliament approves The Petition of Right, affirming that taxation without parliamentary consent and forced loans are illegal as well as arbitrary imprisonment.

    1649: King Charles I, who fought the English and Scottish parliaments during the English Civil War, is executed for high treason. During his trial, Magna Carta was cited.

    1679: The Habeas Corpus Act is passed. This act defines a process courts must follow while examining the legalities of a prisoners detention.

    1689: The Bill of Rights is passed. Based on the principles of the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights limits the powers of the monarchs and lays the foundations for the worlds first parliamentary democracy.

    1770s: American colonists cite Magna Carta as they lament taxation without representation.

    Magna Cartas Legacy

    The Timeline ofMagna Carta

    Clause 38: In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it.

    Clause 39: No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.

    Clause 40: To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.

    Three clauses of Magna Carta continue to influence governments today:

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