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tv   Book Discussion on Magna Carta  CSPAN  November 28, 2015 9:45am-10:51am EST

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african-american church, bible study and kills nine people, nine innocent people. two days later it is his arraignment. the relatives of those nine people stand up, one after another and they say we forgive you. that is a religious statement that grows out of their faith and what came from that? what did that evoke? what was -- what happened to the relatives of nine people, what happened then? three days later, announces the confederate flag going down from the capitol grounds and she is surrounded by republicans,
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democrats, conservatives, when liberals, america behind her. these nine people have changed political culture, the cradle of the confederacy. it was just remarkable and it doesn't take a ton of people but a few people acting from their faith to make up their minds that they are going to try to make things better. and amend this country. few people can do it. >> host: that is where i wanted to end the interview. just a few minutes left. but you do -- decry the meanness of campaigns today, the amount of money that has to be raised
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today. can a person like you, if you were running today, a person of faith who believe strongly, a person passionate about public policy, what would you say to them? if they make it in today's environment or there is such an appeal? >> talking about it, be out in the open about it, talk about it. that is what the public could do as well. why do these nasty campaigns take place? they take place because they work. let's make from not work. just got in their face. and they would say, i saw on television or commercial, and i want you to tell me how does
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that commercial square with your values? just tell me. do you stand for that? do you approve that message? how does that -- and if it does, say so. if it doesn't take the thing off the air, it would work. >> host: you encourage people of faith to be engaged? >> guest: i think so. i wrote the book on politics and it was a warning, don't over do it and believing such and such a position is god's position because religion and politics can be terribly divisive, and and get out of politics.
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device and we in politics, and miss use religion, and this book is gauge yourself in politics and become a countervoice, it is all about me, don't give an inch and i am in greek, be a counterof voice to those people. >> host: thank you very much for spending time with us today. thank you for writing this book. it is something high i hope has a big readership. thank you very much. >> host: >> that was afterwards, booktv signature program in which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed. watch past afterwards programs
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online at >> next up, historian dan jones examines the creation of the magna carta and its impact on democratic principles including the language used in the u.s. constitution. this year marks the document's 800th anniversary. >> without further ado our offer this evening is a historian, television presenter, journalist among many other things, he is the author of many books on english history, his newest book transcends time, it would seem, almost 800 years of it, about one of the formative documents in human history, deeply relevant to all of us, present and past. without further ado please welcome dan jones.
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[applause] >> thank you for that kind introduction. an apology, i haven't brought any adoptable dogs with me. normally i would bet bring them over from the u.k. you will have to bear with me. i will be signing books later rather than making pop trends on the. thank you for coming here tonight. i am going to talk about magna carta. normally when i talk about magna carta i tried to paint a picture of england as it was when magna carta was drafted, 15 june 12, '15. i tried to give people an image and that image is becoming more and more one of the victorian watercolors or prints the we
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know. king john with a sort of frown on his face, looking at a large electricity bill, signing with a long quill of papers like this. and around in the barrons standing sternly, usually changing that, wagging his finger and off to the left, smoking of fact, i am sorry, has to be done and robyn hood kind of appearing around the tree and it is a beautiful image. it is almost a wholly false image. put that out of your mind and let me take you somewhere else. i will take you somewhere quite specific. i want to talk about, to begin with, has anyone been to herod's cathedral? i can tell you anything alike about heritage, it is like the
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space ship, it is very lovely, a regional in norman cathedral, borderland between wales and england. original be developed to have this sort of lovely, gothic element to it as well, one of the great cathedrals, you have a sense, how can this be made, construction techniques and so on and so on. one of the other great things is its full lot many evil stuff. got a changed -- in the days when books were valued even more, has to be protected on the
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shelves. if you are going to buy a book by magna carta, by dog leash as well. it is simple to tell you about -- two vance veazey -- treasures. and daymac of the world and the other thing heritage cathedral has is a 12-17 edition of the magna carta. slightly later than king john's in 1217. and just as important as its own way. about this time last year i visited and did some filming down there. a little bit downtown. and the magna carta, historical
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duties. the thought occurred to me, looking at the map, is a seriously impressive piece of art, cartography, artefact, accused the detailed, tells us an amazing thing about the way people thought in the middle ages but when you first see it, it is hard to get your head around the fact that this is the same planet represented years of we live on today. we pick on individual countries, england, ireland, france, italy, spain, russia, india, china, but the whole thing has been sort of distorted and swashed and faces
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into a precise secular shape, oriented so that each is at the top and dollar range around jerusalem, because east is at the top in order to look at it you have to tilt your head marvelous, isn't it? i can see. even when you have done that you got used to the shape of it, the strange way it is in this map. there were other odd things, around jerusalem and cities like jerusalem, paris and places we don't normally see on modern maps, the garden of eden, noaa's ark, and the parting of the red sea with the israelites were brought out of slavery. we don't see those on modern maps unless the garden of eden,
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have been to the garden of eden. don't go, whatever you do particularly young people don't go to the garden of the night club. i will explain why a and afterwards. there are mermaids year, strange beasts, up things that have no place on a modern map. has side is looking at the map, this is very beautiful, very old, wonderful piece, so essentially redundant, planning your next vacation, you are not going to use the mack unless you are going to the garden of eden or no law's ark, if you want to know how to get from here into downtown chicago, you won't be there in any sense but we have google maps.
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that is the point. thinking about this i went to look at the heritage's magna carta from 1217, very ancient, very rare, pretty lovely to look at if you like these documents, some of us do. the more magna carta, don't get up and leave, is full of useless information. jaworski or no as arc but sentences like this, no possible or his bailiff should take goods of anyone who is not of the town where his castle is without instantly paying money for the unless he can obtain arrest by the free will of the celebrity did, the castle is, he showed give him the price, let anyone here in the castle arguing about corn, that is not useful.
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let's give you another one. full of future shock the quite removed throughout all of england on the sea coast. you probably think england is essentially hobbit land but we are not worried anymore about that. anybody i know, a promise they are held by shutters and the kings of dean lind and don't have custody of them when they become vacant as they ought to have and bridge declared. honestly, who cares? these are the details of the al ruechel -- magna carta. there are some sentences that do talk to us. for example no free man shall be taken or imprisoned or
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dispossessed of liberty, nor outlawed nor exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we commit him to prison except by the legal judgment of his peers or the laws of the land. that does mean something. so does the next clause in the magna carta. to no one will be sell, no one will be denied or delay rights, justice. that is something perry important to western-as i will talk about in a couple of minutes. but to get to these huge points about liberty and freedom you have to negotiate in the magna carta a lot of obsolete and redundant information. i was looking at these two things, i find is hot on the one hand, didn't think about it, the magna carta, we hold in absolute
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veneration. what i am trying to get at with all of this is manifestly there is something extraordinary about the magna carta, something powerful, something with a weight that is greater, much greater than the combination of its costs. the first thing to do is stop to pitt examine the parts of the packet 13, where they come from. the simplest thing to say is the magna carta was a peace treaty. in this summer of 1215, king john had fallen out spectacularly with his baroness, the most powerful in the country. the barons had risen up in
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rebellion and were calling themselves the army of god and the holy church. but grandiose title, the only rebels to come out of this, a wonderful title, and the number, large number and most immediate complaint as john's failed attempts to wage a costly for and work against france. when john came to the throne he didn't just ruled england, he also ruled about a third of what we now call france, normandy, spain, britain, that comprise the whole western seaboard of france, a massive amount of territory. that is what john inherited in 1199 but by 1203 he had lost almost all of it. for nearly a decade he directed
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the policy of his government towards raising a campaign to reconquer all that land. for the most part that had gone bad but particularly bad in july of 1214. on alliance of john's friends or people he paid to fight on his behalf including his half-brother, his nephew, sometime holy roman emperor, they had gone into battle against the king of france, lost spectacularly, lost devastatingly. they had been taken prisoner. his allies had fled. john in a sense gambled everything on success and lost, had been forced to return -- was
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forced to return to england to. he spent his money on this campaign but his reputation as a military leader, as a king, the sense that god was on his side. all of that from the floor and his enemies of england where a ranged against him and ready to start. they had plenty more besides john's military philly is to be angry about. they were angry about his tax policy. in order to raise money to fight his wars john had been using prerogative powers as king to levy often insanely how i arbitrary taxes on individual barrons, huge amounts of money for inheritance. huge amounts of money to get married, huge amounts of money every time they are quiet and get a bit of land or a new title
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and these were genuinely massive amounts of money, 5,000, 10,000, 15,000 pounds and if you converge into dollars probably talking tens of millions of dollars. as well as doing this john had previously offended the church. during the course of his reign he got into disputes with the pope, one of the most strident, powerful popes of the middle ages, john had fallen out with him over the matter of the archbishop of canterbury, one person to the archbishop of canterbury, and wanted somebody else, both appeared and the pope imposed a third candidate, john refused and in response to the
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pope placed england under interdict, all church services stop, no nothing, churches were shot and in an extremely religious age this was a harsh punishment. it lasted five years. john didn't care. gave no sign whenever. he used the interdict to channel money, redirect the wealth of the church in the royal coffin and used that money to move forward. excommunicated john which was to reinforce the popularly held view that john like the rest was descended from the devil. they were proud of their reputation of having literally been descended from the devil.
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richard the lionheart, john's elder brother said from the devil we came and to the devil we will return. john went about proving it. besides this john had also personally with a lot of subjects, it was said the wives and daughters, it was said, it wasn't set, he did have a very bad habit of murdering people who offended him and they included his nephew. arthur of britney was valuable for the english crown at the beginning of his reign. john managed to capture him during a military campaign. he was in prison and the story went in 1203 john had bashed arthur's head in and thrown his
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body into the river while he was drunk. one of john's close allies, close friends was a baron, a few years afterward fell out because his wife matilda left on that they knew what happened, not a good idea. john assumes he fell out with william, and by every means possible, use the royal law to pursue him, took away -- will officials to seize as many of his positions as he could, hounded him through wales and ireland and eventually william was exiled to france. however their eldest son, not so lucky. they fell into john's hands.
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it was said when the dungeon door was open they found mother and sons huddled together and the mother had gone mad with starvation. john was widely fox besides all this to be cool, and chivalrous, cowardly and untrustworthy and this is an age with actual the matter day. you can get to any political position being and chivalrous and cowardly and untrustworthy and it is coincidental that the presidential season is beginning to bet in the 13 century people cared if you were and chivalrous, cowardly or cool. they certainly cared about john, in the spring of 1215 to began an armed uprising, the army of god and the holy church and rose
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against him. it came in may on may 17th, the baron's managed to strike a deal with london, the merchants in england, the powerhouse in england, was today and was back then. on the seventeenth of may 5th, although londoners were at church and bells ringing in the barons had been allowed to take control of the city of london. this was a disaster, controlled his own capital and was cut off from the treasury in london westminster, the only place he could get was a castle in windsor a good 20 miles away and what this meant was if john wanted to prevent a civil war which he would struggle to win he had to come to negotiate.
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that was what was happening june 12, '15 when the magna carta was created. whether he really wanted to or not, he had to play. the agreement that was thrashed out between john and the barons was what he called magna carta. that there was some original magna carta, the image of john signing it is false because there was no so far as we know single original document, certainly nothing was ever signed. was an agreement granted in terms by john and was written up into identical -- individually sealed and. four of those from 1215, two in british library, one belongs to lincoln cathedral, the agreement
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that all of these contained was the product of several weeks of hard negotiating mediated by the archbishop of langdon. john was reconciled with the church two years before magna carta because the church is allowed to sponsor mass invasion by the king of france and lyndon came back to england and the way john treated him is remarkable how the archbishop managed for negotiations, wasn't really extraordinarily man, we don't often think when we talk about magna carta but we should, a great theologian, and thought deeply about the nature of kinship, the responsibility of a prince, when a prince became a
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tyrant, had written about all of this, divided the bible, the chapter's they use today. remarkably even-handed during the process of negotiation. he obeyed his pastoral duties to try to reconcile the 0 warring kicking them. we know from draft documents that survive that the agreement that became the magna carta was the product of quite a lot of horsetrading in committee, mediated by the church and the matters they were discussing range from the broad, general, philosophical down to the very specific, what should be the level of inheritance tax on barrons? there were special interests,
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the church, there was a drive for freedom of the church. in london they handed over london's royal oversight. and many more considerations. what all this eventually boiled down to was an agreement of 63 chapters or clauses which ran around 4 thousands latin words. i think we can say this agreement as it existed june of 1215 was the most ambitious attempt in english history to encode the laws and customs and provide a mechanism by which people of the realm could force their king, i am not going to review all 63 clauss. i hear a sigh of relief. i have done this.
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i recorded the audio and whether the text of the magna carta as well, really want to listen, fine, we recorded it. it was an interesting recording because magna carta was written to be read aloud. as i say if you want to hear that by the c.d.. i won't do it now but i will give you a flavor. of the things that in magna carta. top of the bill, the english church was to be free of will influence. also the city of london. inheritance tax was to be limited at 100 lbs.. considering john had been levying 10,000 pounds this was a tiny, a lowest imaginable, almost lost imaginable rate but
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it was set in magna carta. windows where to have rights to their inheritance end were to be allowed to stay 40 days after the death of their husbands. the king's justices were to go out four times a year. and forage by sears and mercenaries kicked out of the country to take tax, the king had to -- it would become parliament. the idea, the tax the king had to consult. land that had been designated as will force, there was lots of forest land. doesn't mean lots of trees but land that was forced where only the king had the right to hunt, cutdown trees, allow animals to
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forge. under the early plantagenets this had been spreading and spreading, land was either private or it was called royal forest land. that was to be bold back several decades. hand most famously there with those great causes and mentioned it earlier, no free man shall the rest of or imprisoned or deprived of his possessions without due process of law and judgment of his peers, to no one will we sell nor deny or delay rights of justice. and of course those clawss in some ways the vaguest, elegant in translation, those that have endured and those that have their echoes in the u.s. bill of rights. it is those central clauses touching on the philosophy of
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liberty that franklin roosevelt was thinking of when he said the democratic aspiration is no mere recent phase in human history, britain in the magna carta, those clauss that nelson mandela was thinking of when he phrased the magna carta in 1964. having said that in 1215, in june of 1215 i don't think they were the most important words, they were not the most important. in 1215 the most important words in the charter came much later. the security clause. the security clause stated that if the kings didn't obey magna carta then at council of 25 barons would be legally entitled
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to distress and distain him in any way they saw fit. that would be to force him to do right by them and that sounds good you have a mechanism to enforce thing they agree to but in practice it was fatal because magna carta was supposed to be a peace treaty and here embedded in the mechanism that was supposed to make this work was a mechanism for starting a civil war. the minute anyone broke the terms of the charter civil war would break out. that is exactly what happened. almost as soon as the ink was dry the agreement that was drawn-out, as soon as the ink was dry and, it was distributed by the church, upjohn started, wiggled by writing one of the
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terms of the agreement he made to reconcile himself with the church was the notion of feudal vassalage to the pope, effectively acknowledged in futile terms the pope was ultimately in charge. actually a useful thing to do because john wrote to the pope and said i hoped the pope is well over there in rome. awkward. kind of agreed to magna carta, wondering if you could do some popey things and get me out of it. that is the sort of sense and the pope innocent iii, rolling, soaring rhetoric particular the when he was cross, we are complete be astonished and amazed any of this could happen. and he said totally unacceptable.
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magna carta, he wrote, should be null and void of all the validity forever and anyone who obeyed its terms would be excommunicated which was a polite way of saying they are going to burn in hell. when word of the pope's decision came back to england it predicted because up for. a civil war that everyone had wanted to avoid broke out in earnest. on john's side he filled the country with foreign mercenaries, by fear of bringing them through on false pretense and on the barren's side, the son of the king of france, louis the lionel those at the to history not a real lion, invited him to come to england to take on's place, they considered john as a king to complete the
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abandoned kingship. a vicious conflict spread up and down, the magna carta, was forgotten did the decent thing and died. about the year, in october of 1216 john, having lost his baggage, crown jewels in it and wash the area in northeast england, having done this john contract dysentery and promptly died and on his deathbed like many of the most people in history suddenly had a fit of
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repentance and started saying sorry but then he died. she wasn't mist, by the way. the chronicler, matthew paris who was writing a little after john's death made a lot of john's deathbed scene includes the chapter about john by saying all latin wine which translates roughly as all england reeks of john's fills the deeds, foul as it is, hell itself is defiled by his presence. stick that on your tombstone or possibly not. there were not many people who would disagree. john is dead and good reduce but if john is dead, the charter he quite unwittingly helped to create was not in fact magna
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carta's afterlife began with john's death. began because the men who were around john's son, 10 years old, the men around the young henry iii had an idea to in order to restore order, in order to bring an end to the vicious civil war that was raging, dust off magna carta and offer it up again and that is what they did, metaphorically dust off magna carta, remove its most troublesome clauses particularly security and presented it to the realm notch as something imposed upon an unwilling king but as a platform for new government, government that would be willing to listen to its subjects. a peace offering. it was reissued after john's
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death and again in 1217 after release's armies lost a critical battle and wheat defected when the issue began. it was reissued in 1225 and throughout the thirteenth century was reissued and 3 issued, and a symbol of the government's willingness to reform grievances and also we issued the moment of political and constitutional crisis, 1255, henry iii, reissuing in 12 played -- 1297 by the grandson, reconfirmed.
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as parliament began to emerge as an institution magna carta was read aloud and the effect, over the course of the fifteenth century by 1300 magna carta had become more than just a collection of promises in bad faith from an unblinking, started to be, myth, legend, symbol of the crown's willingness to observe customs, rights. and if you like it, it was the symbol of what we would now call social contract. the fame of magna carta which grew up during the thirteenth century would endure for. looking to the seventeenth century when english rebels are facing down james i and charles i, an english civil war broke out. picks scholars like edmund cloak
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look to the magna carta for inspiration and the story of originally people standing up for their rights. stewart is chased out of england, the english bill of rights, again the sense that they are trying in some way to participate, follow on from what happened in the magna carta and of course it happened here as well in a united states at the end of the 18th-century. when the subject of the british crown in this part of the world asserted their own rights against george iii. they were looking for the example of magna carta. i really do believe the founding fathers saw important precedent for the road actions for what
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had gone on in 1215. declaration of independence, that makes practically the same criticisms of george iii as the magna carta made of king john, taxation without consent, refusal of jury trials, use of foreign troops against crown subjects. in the constitution in article iii the trial of all crimes except in cases of impeachment shall be by a jury. that is a direct echo of the language of magna carta. the fifth amendment to the bill of rights, without reformulating magna carta when it says no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. that is article 9 of magna carta. i think we still recognize the impact of magna carta today. if you have been to the national archives in washington, if you
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go to the national archives in washington d.c. as you know, when you go through that airport style security, trudge through, pockets in the basket and scary goes and it is degrading but once you are through the first thing you see dimly lit in front of you is that 1297 edition of the magna carta, auctioned by david rubenstein to ross perot, $21.7 million ended is placed there to start your journey, like the metaphorical and physical starting point and as you explore the archived, and finally and come to the high point where you have the declaration of independence and the constitution and the bill of rights. ..
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yes, but it also speaks the issue that we are still all thinking about all of the time. it's about taxation. how much should the government tax? with an acceptable level of
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inheritance tax? it's about war. do we want the government to pay for very expensive foreign wars in places that don't apparently directly threaten our safety at home? has been fight in france but richard has been fighting at vast expense just a few years earlier under through -- the third crusade in syria. magna carta is not a lawful arrest, unlawful prison. can government agents really just arrest or hurt or killed citizens? can the government deny people access to justice just because it feels like it or just because it does o on these people over s much as it likes these people over there. magna carta is about government in our everyday lives. relentlessly extending the scope of governments to traditionally
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private spheres. and here where people react against the. we think about that today. how much government do we want what we've discovered useful and when is it unprecedented, unnecessary, unwelcome in our lives quick start planning more questions a magna carta we can relate to today as well. when is it legitimate to depose a tyrant, someone has been using at oppressing their people? that's not a question to ask your in the united states or in the united kingdom where i live but it is certainly a key foreign policy question of our time. so magna carta isn't just a historical empty. if something we need to think about, we need to study and talk about today with him the united states or anywhere else in the world. and one last illustration before i close is i want to go back to that copy of magna carta because the harrison copy is not at the
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moment inherent. it's in china. it was loaned to china to go on public display previous post ago public display at beijing university, this post ago on public display at the shanghai tower this month. but it didn't go on display at beijing university or at the shanghai tower. they were sort of bureaucratic reasons given for this by the chinese authority. we didn't have the right to license. we didn't sort out the fire certificate, the build in shanghai. really? i have to say i am not convinced that i think there's a sense among the chinese authorities that despite this being an agent piece of parchment written an abbreviated mainly concerns with arcane english feudal principles from the 13th century, there is a sense, is there not, that
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the magna carta remains in the minds of some in china too dangerous to be freely shown in public? so instead it's been tucked away at an investors house where it is much, much harder to do. if you're looking for example, of the potency of magna carta, its power as a symbol of the rule of law, the principles of liberty and the notion people should be free of oppression, then you have it right there. thank you very much. [applause] >> i think we'll have some questions that could want to ask the question just wait for the microphone to come to you but yes, sir. >> you make reference to the magna carta having the rights for free men. the question i have is if the word man is qualified by the word free, and it makes me wonder if there's an alternative
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in english society at the time to free men. >> absolutely. that's a good question. magna carta is not only for the freeman but the magna carta of 1215. a magna carta of 1215 was only granted to kings faithful subjects. so there really is a small sliver the people at the time it's granted. how many freeman? take the whole of society as 100%. let's lop off 50% because they were not men. and then how many of those were frequent we know there was serfdom at the time. we could probably say generous a half about half, probably more than that. so at this we're talking about 25% of people thinking something freedman. indicate those out who are rebelling against the king and were not granted the protections are you talking about an even smaller group.
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it is important will talk about the rich history of magna carta to remember that this was still for all its subsequent power that has grown up around it is still something that yes was agreed between 18 and the group of people who are now probably called oligarchs or robber barons. so when i talk about magna carta with the things i tried to emphasize is that we have two important and distinct aspects of magna carta. the first is history and the second is it's actually. the history and 1215 when it was a defunct, and it's incredibly rich afterlife that was almost attached to one another.
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>> you mentioned that the document was written in latin. what language with the people speaking, this class of people speaking at the time? >> a document was written in latin, which was pretty customary for the documents in england. is spoken, it was a sort of rich language spoken, latin was the language of diplomacy, international language by which people communicate throughout in the western world. the language of the upper class would be french. either the french -- interesting dialects of french. those would have been spoken. we are still quite close to the normal conquest award you with a very francophone and culturally
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rich ruling class between king and his subjects. there would also been spoken hebrew, cornish, welsh and, of course, the would've in english. now, it was said that say of john's father henry the second that he could understand every language between england and the river jordan. but he mainly spoke latin, french. i think the same would probably be true of john also strikes me as more likely he would have spoken english as well. it was really a cultural divide between on the one hand sort of francophone, francophile cultural french ruling classes and the group of people people who were still colonized effectively. yes, sir, in the front.
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>> i presume that the ideas were brought to negotiations with the barons didn't just spring out of the ground is there a documentary history of some of these ideas that is previously expressed? >> absolutely. the ideas that found the magna carta come you're quite right they didn't just magically appear. we can see in terms of the short-term development of magna carta. we know quite a lot about that because we have precursor documents. that shows of the evolution, the detail of the charter and it gets is this sense that in the committees that were coming up, the terms of magna carta to the ideas were evolving. and, but prior to that, i mean
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there was a history of kings granting charters of rights much more limited, much shorter than magna carta. henry the second, john's father, henry the first, john's great-grandfather. they came to the throne both in contentious circumstances. we will defend the liberties of the church i will defend the rights and customs of england. we know the coronation chart had to be the first time had been on the minds of the rebels several months prior, maybe even in the autumn of 1214. started to think this could be a model for rebellion or for putting it on the cat if you'd like. but in this sort of broader scholastic sense, the idea, the ideas with questions about what do you do with the tyrants when
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a prince becomes a tyrant? those are talked about at the university of paris, and intellectual school, went back and include been like thomas becket, similar generation. these kind of their intellectual men to be think about the nature of power and what to do. langston was a key figure advising the rebels to begin with and then mediating the magna carta. a lot of deep thinking, probably attribute. a lot of the detail comes from special interest, you know. and the church. we don't want taking to be interfering. so there's a whole sort of blend
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of ideas on which the magna carta is coming from a lot of different angles. yes. >> so 1215 of the original magna carta was written. you said every couple of years they would bring it out again for the next 80 or so years. were alevin changed over the time? >> yes, they were. magna carta was first granted and then regret it in 1216, 1217, 1265 and so one up to 1300. elements were changed and particularly between 1215-1216-1217 clauses were dropped, clauses that presented problems. it was obvious security clause was not going to work. so that was dropped. the clause demanding that the
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kingsport advisors were taken out of the country was also dropped because the a lot of capable men. so practical and pragmatically as it was renewed, as it was reprinted, things were smooth or changed so each edition of magna carta is somewhat different. >> i just wondered what your interest in magna carta, how did start, your passion and your research speak with i just woke up and myself one day. [laughter] just a copy of magna carta and a typewriter. i mean, my personal interest in the middle ages, as you know this is my fifth book about this kind of period of history. i should really stop.
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i mean, i read the first, almost, almost to the day actually 16 years ago was my first week in cambridge, university of cambridge, and i had chosen totally a random medieval history but because you a lot of freedom. i chose the base, high school teacher, ma what i'm going to choose? i don't know, medieval. and so i've sent along to see another brilliant medievalist come and she was my supervisor. that's the way the system works. and she gave me an essay titled. that's all i got. i went to a study educating an essay. the essay was just what was at issue between john and barons, flsa. i thought, weekly essay, i would hit it in six days and time.
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three days in the library, three days in the pub, this is going to be fine. here i am 16 days -- 16 years later talk about the same question. there was something in it. i got stuck in a. is fastened to i like medieval history because it's like doing, all history is like doing an incomplete or in unsatisfactory jigsaw. either the are too many pieces or you are too few. and in the pages there's just the right number of pieces, just the right number of working out what should be in there. i don't know, i just love this time. and having written, dynabook about the 15th century, obviously with the anniversary of which went something. of march right about, another little sliver.
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there's something very attractive about going back. it's a different way of writing. you get much more into this granular detail of a time. i just, i really enjoyed it. >> you know, you talk about the magna carta how it changed that moving forward into the wars of the roses, the yorks and moving into the tutors, what regarded they have for the magna carta at this point? >> well, if you look at let's say henry the seventh, magna carta was still being mentioned in parliament the there was still an awareness that there was a continuum, if you like, of english law and custom that could be dated back to magna
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carta. still find it mentioned in records of parliament. the 16th century is really a sort of lost century for magna carta. if you think about it there some fairly good reasons for that. you would want to go up waiting for magna carta under henry viii knows, because if he did, you know what would happen. it's what happened to thomas. in the british library in the summer just gone from this fantastic magna charta exhibition to one of its exhibits was called a book of her members of thomas cromwell. the real thomas cromwell didn't have a melting heart. daily to-do list effectively. it's a list of mustard. one of the items on it is
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remember the ancient i think chronical magna carta. there's a note to himself saying find out what the magna carta is all about. we think from this note that is not data, probably is from 1535 when thomas moore's trial was happening. and cromwell obviously realized that thomas moore was prepared years the magna carta in his defense because the first clause of magna carta the english church shall have its liberties. and what could be more opposite to what henry viii is doing in wrenching england away from supremacy of rome and started planning to drop the possessions of the church and proud authority. moore had a very good point. i think if, indeed, he was planning to rely on magna carta at this trial. any we have cromwell finding
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out, look into the magna carta but it didn't do very much good if you look at the broader cultural sort of world of the 15 \30{l1}s{l0}\'30{l1}s{l0}, men like john bale providing genuine, awful place. that was applicable at king john. john somehow, he manages to contrive john into the defender of great widows, stepped up to the tyranny of folks. their stuff mentioned in magna carta anywhere. john is poisoned at the end. john is the great forgotten here. a really peculiar standing on its head in english history. if you look at shakespeare king john it is a great deal better. it's not a patch on the history place of the 15th century.
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and john gets poisoned. pathetic. so the 16th century is really the forgotten time for magna carta in the 15th century doesn't play particularly prominent role in politics. >> so the u.s. and the uk have a close intertwined history. the magna carta comes down over the centuries. you come to us. we have developed the constitution to do you think it is time for the uk to codify? >> for the uk to codify? well, there is some talk in the uk at the moment of a british bill of rights, which has been


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