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10 things you need to know about Magna Carta

This year marks the 800th anniversary of one of the most famous documents in history, Magna Carta. The charter was agreed upon by King John at Runnymede, and has since become a symbol of liberty. Nicholas Vincent, author of Magna Carta: A Very Short Introduction, tells us 10 things everyone should know about Magna Carta:

  1. Magna Carta doesn’t actually say anything about democracy or mention democracy.
  2. However, the document does talk about many of the things one would assume it would, like the jury.
  3. Magna Carta doesn’t include anything about habeas corpus.
  4. It still legally matters as it was a totum of the rights of the citizen against the monarchy and then the state.
  5. Magna Carta is very vague when you want it to be more specific.
  6. On the other hand, it is very specific when it could be more vague.
  7. Magna Carta was used in the eighteenth century to argue the rights of the revolutionaries in America
  8. It was also used in argument by slave owners in Jamaica, who said that it endorsed slavery.
  9. We know a lot more about Magna Carta now than we did three or four years ago.
  10. A lot is still to be learnt about the document. Historians hope to uncover more about Magna Carta in the next few years.

Featured image credit: “Parchment”, by nile. Public domain via Pixabay.