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In Medieval England, King John was at war with a group of English Barons because he extracted money from them to fight a war with France. To appease the Barons, the King wrote the Magna Carta, which essentially says the King cannot arbitrarily collect taxes from Barons. This revolutionary document, signed in 1215, limited the power of the monarchy and outlined the basic principles of the modern judicial system. The Pope invalidated the document just ten weeks later, but its ideas have lived on and served as the basis of portions of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Listen to learn how the British library is celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.
Story Length: 3:54
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AIR DATE: 04/13/2015