Wednesday, June 15, 2005

This Day in History: The Magna Carta

As some of you may remember from your middle school world history lessons, the Magna Carta is always touted as a pretty big deal. Well, according to the History Channel website, King John sealed the deal on this date.

Interesting to note, however, that the actual execution of the document is not all it's cracked up to be:
The Magna Carta has been subject to a great deal of historical exaggeration; it did not establish Parliament, as some have claimed, nor more than vaguely allude to the liberal democratic ideals of later centuries. However, as a symbol of the sovereignty of the rule of law, it was of fundamental importance to the constitutional development of England.
Wonder how many other significant milestones we've learned by rote that aren't what we think they are?

The Declaration of Independence comes to mind... July 4th is great and all, but we still had to fight a big, bloody war after that.

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