So you remember Elanor and Richard and Henry II etc. etc? Yes, of course you do.
Now you might or might not remember John.
John was the annoying little brother of Richard, the favorite son of Henry, and the disapointment of Elanor.
Well, Richard died after he got the throne, so John inherited it.
Everyone hated him.
It was his failnessnessness that lead us to the main bit of our story: The Magna Carta.
So remember the Emo History Poetry Slam? The Jews of the Middle ages? King John was the guy who put all the Jews in jail. And then kicked them out because they no longer helped the economy.
So he was Hitler before Hitler was Hitler. Hitler.
BUT THAT’S WAAAAY FAR AHEAD.
And if you remember The Emo History Poetry Slam, and Elanor and Richard and Henry II, you must remember the forests in England. They were a bid deal, private property, and all that jayazzz. And John hoarded them. He severely punished intruders too. Nice guy.
John was even worse at home. He divorced his first wife to steal another woman /who was already married./ He then went and had children with other women. Note the plural.
So he wasn’t a Godly Man.
And the monks who knew him best thought he was an Atheist. Heh heh.
In fact, once he got in a fight with Mr. P-to-da-ope Innocent (I still love that name.) and he threatened to kick ALL the church leaders out of the country and put out the eyes and cut out the noses of some of them. For good measure, you know.
So Mr. P-to-da-ope closed the churches, except for baptisms.
EVENTUALLY, HE HAD A GENIUS IDEA.
Mr. P-to-da-ope Excommunicated John.
Who didn’t really give a hoot.
And ooooh no.
John needed political help from Innocent (Trololo) eventually, and so...
He gave up the throne and gave it to Mr. P-to-da-ope.
BUT DON’T WORRY!
He kept the throne for 5 days, and then John bought it back. Trololo.
So John made a big mess.
Nothing made the Nobles more mad than how much John taxed.
Now people expected the taxes to be lightened, because they were pretty heavy due to the Crusades.
BUT OH NO.
John raised the taxes for his own personal gain.
Now I would really like to say that John was a nice guy really, or a polite man, but I can’t. BECAUSE HE WASN’T.
So the Nobles decided to raise an army. Not to fight the king, not to kill the king, but to just make him behave.
So they met up with him in Runnymede, which is a little meadow. Nice place.
The Barons made John put a kingly seal of approval on a document called The Magna Carter. So why didn’t he sign it? Because he couldn’t write. Uhmyeah.
But what /was/ The Magna Carta?
It was a list of rules, all written in Latin, which pretty much gave some rights to the people and put some restrictions on the king.
And the law was above the king, i.e. the king had to follow the law.
And here’s the basis of Democracy.
But King John immediately went against the document, but he still continued to rule. A few years later, though, he died from poiso- I MEAN SICKNESS.
And then his 6 year old son took over. But hey, like father like son.