A short note on the history of Magna Carta, 1215 and its importance

The Charter of Magna Carta:

After the sudden death of his brother Richard, John became the king of England without any difficulty. He was, however, oppressive and selfish and hardly did anything to win love and obedience from his subjects. In fact, by his successive steps of action, marked equally with injustice and wrong, he could only manage to lose the support of all the sections of his subjects. His foreign policy was disastrous and led to financial problems in the country. He tried to raise money from his subjects and adopted repressive measures for the same. The result was the collective protest from his subjects who could no more bear his acts of wrong and injustice. The barons closed their ranks and formed a united front. Other people of lower ranks also joined the front with an avowed assertion to have the formal recognition of their rights and the amendments of their grievances. A Charter was prepared and the king was pressed to sign it. That was known as the Magna Carta.

The Great Charter that was reluctantly sealed by the king on June 15, 1215, had sixty-three clauses. Four clauses were, however, of lasting importance in the constitutional history, though unwritten, of England. Those clauses restricted the king from imposing taxes, arbitrarily at his own will, without the consent of Parliament. Those clauses also did not permit any arbitrary imprisonment, eviction, or dispossession from the property of any subject by the king. The clauses also provided for the liberty as well as the justice of every subject, the right to have the trial by jury, and the equality of all before the supremacy of the law. Over and above those clauses are found to have been evoked even against the crown in the cases of the struggle between the king and Parliament.

The Great Charter Magna Carta was a triumphant document of the subjects against the ruthless despotism of the feudal king. In reality, it proved to be a great starting point for English national liberty and individual freedom.