Magna Carta

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Directions: Before you start, listen to part of a talk in a world history class.

*Vocabulary is sometimes provided in written form when it may be unfamiliar to the student but essential for understanding the lecture

Magna Carta

Magna Carta - Transcript

When England’s King John lost to Philip Augustus, his outraged nobles rebelled, resulting in a civil war from 1215 to 1217. One temporary treaty of this civil war, a treaty known as Magna Carta would have a much further-reaching impact than anyone who had drafted it could have foreseen. One particular provision of Magna Carta was that if the king wanted to raise new taxes on the people of England, then he needed to get the consent of the community by convening a council. The convening of such councils, known as parliaments, would come to be systematized over the course of the thirteenth century. 

Parliaments were not unique to England, however. Most Spanish kings would consult with representatives of both Spain’s towns and nobility, and the Scandinavian kings had assemblies. England’s parliaments, however, would gradually evolve from meetings assembled when a king wanted to raise taxes to a regular assembly that gave representative voice to the people of England.