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The Magna Carta & The English Bill of Rights

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1 The Magna Carta & The English Bill of Rights
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2 Could the rich control the king?
Around the picture below, you can read some of the qualities which medieval people expected their king to have! Which three are the most important for a medieval king? A good judge of character Rich – but not greedy! A good soldier Fit and strong God fearing Inspiring! Brave Hardworking Wise Firm – but fair!

3 Your enquiry! Medieval kings could get into serious trouble if they did not have the qualities of a KING! In the thirteenth century some barons forced an unpopular king to give up some power …and it was only the beginning!! In this enquiry, you will find out how the richest people in the country began to challenge the king

4 King John manages to upset everyone!!
The first king to give up some of his power was John. He is famous as Prince John in make believe stories of Robin Hood. In the stories he is a wicked and foolish prince who taxes the people of England unfairly. Some historians say John was just as foolish in real life. Others say he was simply unlucky! John ruled England from 1199 to He faced the following problems.

5 Problem Number 1 He quarrelled with the Pope about how to run the Church. From 1208 until 1213, the Pope banned all church services in England and English people feared that they would all go to HELL! Some Church leaders blamed John for the trouble.

6 Problem Number 2 John went to war twice against the French king. His army was badly beaten both times. He lost almost all the land that his father had gained in France!

7 Problem Number 3 John raised taxes in England to pay for the wars. This upset his BARONS! He ordered them to pay far more tax than earlier kings had done!

8 How did the barons strike back?
In 1214 many barons rebelled against John. They believed that he could not rule the country properly and was treating them unfairly. If someone did not do something the whole country could be ruined! In 1215 the barons forced John to grant a charter, which was the first time anyone had expected an English king to obey a set of rules.

9 The Magna Carta I, King John, accept that I have to govern according to the law. So I agree: 1. Not to imprison nobles without trial 2. That trials must be in courts; not held in secret by me 3. To have fair taxation for the nobles 4. To let freemen travel wherever they like 5. Not to interfere in Church matters 6. Not to seize crops without paying for them …. and lot more things too!!

10 The Magna Carta?? The Charter later became known by the Latin name Magna Carta which means “great charter”.

11 Think! What was so new about Magna Carta for English kings?
At the time, Magna Carta was not designed to help everybody. What kind of people were not helped by the charter?

12 Jump Forward a Few Hundred Years…
1642 The English Civil War pitted supporters of Charles I against the forces of Parliament, under Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell’s army defeated the forces of the king. Parliament put Charles on trial and condemned him to death as “a tyrant, traitor, murderer, and public enemy.”

13 Out With the King After the execution of Charles I, the House of Commons abolished the monarchy, the House of Lords, and the official Church of England. It declared England a republic, known as the Commonwealth, under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell. This sent a clear signal that, in England, no ruler could claim absolute power and ignore the rule of law.

14 So now who’s the king? James II (remember, his daddy is the one they just executed) angered his subjects and clashed with Parliament. he tried to restore Catholic church and absolutism. Parliamentary leaders invited James’ sister Mary and her husband William to become rulers of England. When William and Mary landed in England, James II fled to France. This bloodless overthrow of a king became known as the Glorious Revolution.

15 Can we trust them? Before they could be crowned, William and Mary had to accept the English Bill of Rights, which: ensured superiority of Parliament over the monarchy. gave the House of Commons “power of the purse.” prohibited a monarch from interfering with Parliament. barred any Roman Catholic from sitting on the throne. restated the rights of English citizens.

16 Think! How does the Bill of Rights differ from the Magna Carta?
How is the English Bill of Rights similar to ours?

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