In the rich turbulence of English history one day stands magnificently apart—June 15, 1215—the day of the signing of the Magna Charta. This was the day on which the great barons of England stood in glistening armor before their cruel King John, who had stripped them of their wealth, and of their very rights as men, to feed his monstrous pride and lust for power. There they were, armed with a charter, a piece of paper which would curb the ambitious King’s power and enable men to live in peace once more. King John swore to be revenged, but he signed the charter, the Magna Charta. And the first blow for English freedom was struck!
What this blow meant and how it influenced the entire Western World, till then crushed under the yoke of feudalism, is examined in the sweeping pages of James Daugherty’s fine book. Here are the color and pageantry of knight against knight, and castle against castle. Other English kings fought the implications of the Magna Charta, but they could not suppress the growth of the idea behind it, that men were entitled to justice—and would fight to have it!
From the Magna Charta, signed nearly 800 years ago, has come the great tradition of English freedom, the tradition that has led to our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. From the Magna Charta have come the lofty concepts of individual freedom, and of equal justice for all.
From the dust jacket
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