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Magna Carta, issued in 1215

Documentary heritage submitted by the United Kingdom and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2009.

© Salisbury Cathedral
Magna Carta 1215 at Salisbury Cathedral

Magna Carta is one of the most celebrated documents in English history. It is often claimed to be the cornerstone of English liberty, law and democracy, and its legacy has been its enduring worldwide influence. The critical importance of the charter is that it imposed for the first time detailed written constraints on royal authority in the fields of taxation, feudal rights and justice, and it reasserted the power of customary practice to limit unjust and arbitrary behaviour by the king. It has become an icon for freedom and democracy throughout the world.



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