Magna Carta – the great charter of freedoms

Magna Carta actually means “the great charter of freedoms”. The agreement was signed on 15 July 1215 by King John of England. This document was not only revolutionary on paper, but laid the foundations for future rebellion against the monarchy and is an important symbol of liberty even today, and thus represents a milestone in British and American democracy.

Kong John signerer Magna Carta

What is the Magna Carta?

The Magna Carta limited the king’s power for the first time in history. It established the principle that everyone is subject to the law – even the king. Provoked by high taxes imposed by tyrannical kings to finance expensive and disastrous wars against France, the Magna Carta instilled protection of wealth and power for the clergy and the nobility.

The 3,600-word-long contract contained three important clauses that have helped to change British society:  

  1. It guaranteed a fair legal trial for all people.
  2. It removed the right of the monarch to levy taxes as they wished.
  3. It made it clear that if the monarch did not comply with the law of the Magna Carta, they could be removed.
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Magna Carta presentert til kong John av England
Magna Carta presentert til kong John av England

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