CHAPTER 12 For most English-speaking people in the world today—especially those in the United Kingdom and the United States—the Magna Carta is an important document. Although it was based on the feudal system of the time, it established ideas of rights and equality under law that would last for many centuries. Read the excerpts below from the Magna Carta, then answer questions that follow in complete sentences. ******************** ohn, by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou: to the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justiciaries, foresters, sheriffs, reeves, ministers, and all bailiffs and others, his faithful subjects, Greeting....


[1] We have, in the first place, granted to God, and by this Our present Charter confirmed, for Us and Our heirs forever, that the English Church shall be free and enjoy her rights in their integrity and her liberties untouched…. We have also granted to all the free men of Our kingdom, for Us and Our heirs forever, all the liberties written below, to have and to hold to them and their heirs of Us and Our heirs. [28] No constable or other of Our bailiffs shall take grain or other chattels of any man without immediate payment, unless the seller voluntarily consents to postponement of payment. [30] No sheriff or other of Our bailiffs, or any other man, shall take the horses or carts of any free man for carriage without the owner’s consent.

[31] Neither We nor Our bailiffs will take another man’s wood for Our castles or for any other purpose without the owner’s consent. [35] There shall be one measure of wine throughout Our kingdom, and one of ale, and one measure of [corn] grain, to wit, the London quarter [about 8 bushels], and one breadth of dyed cloth, russets [coarse homespun cloth], and halbergers [cloth worn under armor], to wit, two ells [about 2 yards] within the selvages. As with measures so shall it also be with weights. [39] No free man shall be taken, imprisoned, [dispossessed], outlawed, banished, ... destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land. [40] To no one will We sell, to none will We deny or delay, right or justice. [63] ...Witness the above named and many others, Given by Our hand in the meadow which is called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June, in the seventeenth year of our reign.

From Magna Carta by A. E. Dick Howard. Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia, 1964.

APPLYING INFORMATION 1. How did Sections 28, 30, and 31 put limits on the power of the English monarch? (1 point)

___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ 2. What does Section 35 show about the importance of trade in the English economy? (1 point)

___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________




3. Sections 39 and 40 are today considered the most significant parts of the Magna Carta. Explain, in your own words, what they promise and why they are considered so important. (3 points)

___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

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