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Magna Carta — Why Now?
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Magna Carta

Arms of King John

John, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and count of Anjou in the meadow which is called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June, 1215, signed the Great Charter in the presence of assorted heavily armed peers of the realm, who assured him it was the right thing to do.

The British Library has pictures of the Magna Carta available, and Wikipedia has a nice discussion of the document.

The Magna Carta of 1297 is permanently residing in the US National Archives.

The Avalon Project’s translation of the 1215 version with an index and definitions.

John abided by the charter for several months, before he returned to business as normal, but the principle was established – no one is above the law.


1 Badtux { 06.15.12 at 12:27 am }

Well, except for George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Jamie Dimon, …

2 Bryan { 06.15.12 at 12:29 am }

I’m not sure vampires or zombies are covered, Badtux …

3 Badtux { 06.15.12 at 1:25 am }

Lizard people, Bryan. Cold-blooded, slimy, and viewing human beings as prey, not fellow travelers in this journey of life.

4 jamsodonnell { 06.15.12 at 1:23 pm }

Probably best for all that John died the following year. Half of the country was under the control of a French prince by then

5 Bryan { 06.15.12 at 4:32 pm }

They parasites, sucking the life out of the country while providing nothing in return.

Henry II was not a candidate for father of the year, Jams, but his sons were all nasty pieces of work, despite what the legends may claim. The Plantagenets are a good example of the biggest problem with inherited power or wealth.

6 jamsodonnell { 06.15.12 at 5:02 pm }

Agreed. the Lionheart was an appallingly bad monarch. At least John spent more than a few months actually in the country!

7 Bryan { 06.16.12 at 12:08 am }

John didn’t have Richard’s ability to get money without a personal appearance.

The US was lucky with John Adams and John Quincy Adams, but then the two Bushes reiterated the problem. Not that the elder Bush was all that good as a President, but his son was a total disaster.

8 Steve Bates { 06.16.12 at 11:16 pm }

“The US was lucky with John Adams and John Quincy Adams…”

IMHO, one had a right to expect better of them. They were, after all, Unitarians… 😈

9 Bryan { 06.17.12 at 12:10 am }

They were certainly not above acting on principle as lawyers to defend unpopular clients in court proceedings. It is hard to imagine a Bush taking a position that wasn’t focus-group tested.

10 Badtux { 06.17.12 at 10:52 am }

Well, Bush took a position of gutting Social Security by gambling its funds in the stock market, a position which fails focus-group testing big-time, but hey, it was what his campaign contributors wanted so he gave it a try anyhow :twisted:.

11 Bryan { 06.17.12 at 11:52 pm }

Let’s not discriminate – Wall Street is a focus group, and the sheep could be herded to the ‘correct’ pasture.

They have managed to convince people that Social Security has major problems, despite the fact that any possible problem is decades away and easily solved, so it wasn’t as risky as it looked.