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The Magna Carta


What does the Magna Carta mean? What does the Magna Carta say? How much of the Magna Carta is valid today? Why is the Magna Carta important? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Magna Carta

The Magna Carta
  • Why was it important?

  • The Magna Carta is one of the most celebrated
    documents in English history but later
    interpretations have tended to change its real
    importance in 1215. This document was not suppose
    to be a lasting declaration of legal principle.
  • It was a solution to a political crisis which
    primarily served the interests of the upper class
    by limiting the power of the king.

  • It was a document that served as a guarantee of
    basic rights.
  • It has been used as a model for citizens rights
    since it was created.
  • Example of documents based on the M.C. The
    American Bill of Rights

Why is the Magna Carta hard to read?
  • The scribes who produced the Magna Carta wrote in
    medieval Latin.
  • Here is the first clause
  • In the first place we have granted to God.
  • In primis concessisse Deo et hac presenti carta
    nostra confirmasse. (Latin)

What is the Magna Carta written on?
  • The Magna Carta was written on parchment, not on
    paper. Parchment was the normal writing material
    in England until the end of the Middle Ages.
  • It was made from sheepskin which was soaked in a
    bath of lime, then stretched on a frame to dry.
    When it was dry, the skin was scraped with a
    curved knife to produce a smooth writing surface
    for the scribes, who wrote their text with a
    quill pen.

Why is there more than one Magna Carta?
  • There is no evidence that a single Magna Carta
    was written up and sealed when King John met the
    barons at Runnymede in 1215.
  • Many copies of the Magna Carta were sent out to
    bishops, sheriffs and other officials throughout
    the country.

What does the Magna Carta mean?
  • 'Magna Carta' means 'The Great Charter'.

What does the Magna Carta say?
  • Despite what many people expect, Magna Carta
    includes very few statements of legal principle.
  • Most of the 63 clauses in the Magna Carta deal
    with feudal rights, customs and the
    administration of justice.

How much of the Magna Carta is valid today?
  • Only three of the 63 clauses in the Magna Carta
    are still valid today.
  • These are the first clause guaranteeing the
    liberties of the English Church the clause
    confirming the privileges of the city of London
    and other towns and the most famous clause of
    all which states that no free man shall be
    imprisoned, dispossessed, outlawed or exiled
    without the lawful judgement of his equals or by
    the law of the land.

Why is the Magna Carta important?
  • The Magna Carta was the first example of an
    English king setting specific limits on royal
  • The Magna Carta tried to prevent the king from
    abusing his power and it made clear that the king
    was subject to the law, not above it.

How does the Magna Carta relate to American
  • The Magna Carta limited the powers of the king.
  • Eventually citizens started to demand rights for
  • Hundreds of years later, the M.C. was used as an
    example for writers of the U.S. Constitution.
  • 10 Amendments were added to the American
    Constitution. These became known as the Bill of
  • This guaranteed certain rights to all American
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