THE MAGNA CARTA – 2015 – SOVEREIGN PROOF GOLD
15th June 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of England’s most controversial moment in monarchic history. On a particularly foul day in Runnymede, King John ‘Lackland’ – as he was unfavourably known – was coerced into signing a momentous document – the Magna Carta; forever a thorn in the side of Kings thereafter who looked to attain absolute power.
Magna Carta, “Great Charter”, or ‘Power to the People’, known in its entirety as “Magna Carta Libertatum” was the first in a long line of documents and laws presented against the English monarchy throughout history as a means of curtailing its power. Its purpose – to protect the rights of the church from anti-Papal demagogues like Henry II, freedom and justice for Barons and members of the nobility against the absolute power of the king, a limitation to feudal tax and the formation of a council of 25 barons, to be in constant check of the power of the crown.
Magna Carta, and more importantly the ideals that the document represented found substantial acclaim through the 16th century all the way to the modern world, being used to champion judicial causes such as habeas corpus, and the freedom of the common folk from overbearing taxes and unwarranted authority. Regardless, the Magna Carta has been acclaimed by scholars, lawyers and politicians and above all else has remained a rallying banner for representative government – often earning the title of the “First Step” towards the constitutional parliamentary democracy that Britain has today.