Magna Carta , also called Magna Carta Libertatum ("Great Charter of Freedoms"), is an English charter originally issued in 1215. Magna Carta was the most significant early influence on the long historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law today. Magna Carta was originally created because of disagreements between Pope Innocent III, King John and his English barons about the rights of the King. Magna Carta required the king to renounce certain rights, respect certain legal procedures and accept that the will of the king could be bound by law.
There are a number of popular misconceptions about Magna Carta, such as that it was the first document to limit the power of an English king by law (it was not the first, and was partly based on the Charter of Liberties); that it in practice limited the power of the king (it mostly did not in the Middle Ages); and that it is a single static document.
Magna Carta was renewed throughout the Middle Ages, and further during the Tudor and Stuart periods, and the 17th and 18th centuries. By the early 19th century most clauses had been repealed from English law. The influence of Magna Carta outside England can be seen in the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. Indeed just about every common law state has been influenced by Magna Carta, making it one of the most important legal documents in the history of democracy.
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