Common Law: Modernizing Magna Carta

Legend has it that after he was forced to agree to the Magna Carta in 1215, King John of England threw himself on the floor in a rage, crawling around and biting on a stick like a dog. There were good reasons for such a show of temper. The document imposed on him by rebellious barons and bishops in a meadow called Runnymede was one of the first comprehensive written attempts to limit the powers of the English King and to set forth the rights of his subjects. Lord Bryce, the historian, has described it as "the starting point in...

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