Could the rich control the king? Around the picture below, you can read some of the qualities which medieval people expected their king to have! Which three are the most important for a medieval king? A good judge of character Rich – but not greedy! A good soldier Fit and strong God fearing Inspiring! Brave Hardworking Wise Firm – but fair!
King John manages to upset everyone!! The first king to give up some of his power was John. He is famous as Prince John in make believe stories of Robin Hood. In the stories he is a wicked and foolish prince who taxes the people of England unfairly. Some historians say John was just as foolish in real life. Others say he was simply unlucky! John ruled England from 1199 to 1216. He faced the following problems.
Problem Number 1 • He quarrelled with Pope Innocent III over lay investiture. • From 1208 until 1213, the Pope excommunicated King John and interdicted England! • The English put pressure on the king to give in to the pope.
Problem Number 2 • John went to war twice against the French king. • His army was badly beaten both times. • He lost almost all the land that his father had gained in France!
Problem Number 3 • John raised taxes in England to pay for the wars. • This upset his BARONS! • He ordered them to pay far more tax than earlier kings had done.
THINK PAIR SHARE! • How did being interdicted impact the way the English felt about their king? • Why do you think the barons gave John the nicknames “Softsword” and “Lackland”? • Which of the three problems do you think upset the barons the most? Why?
How did the barons strike back? • In 1214 many barons rebelled against John. • They believed that he could not rule the country properly & was treating them unfairly. • Many believed that the whole country could be ruined!
How did the barons strike back? In 1215 ce(the only date I want you to memorize this year) the barons forced John to sign the Magna Carta, which was the first time anyone had expected an English king to obey a set of rules.
Three rights you should know that were granted to the English by the Magna Carta Nobles, Clergy and Middle Class had certain rights (such as Due Process) The Monarch (king / queen) had to obey the law The Monarch had to consult the Great Council (Parliament) before raising taxes
Impact of the Magna Carta The Magna Carta was the first step toward a more democratic form of government not seen in Europe since the Roman Senate. These rights only applied to white, rich, landowning males but it was a start.