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Что такое Magna Carta и почему она так важна?

В 2015 году исполняется 800 лет с момента создания одного из важнейших политических и правовых документов - Великой хартии вольностей (в оригинале документ называется Magna Carta Libertatum, или же просто Magna Carta).

В честь юбилея Британская библиотека выпустила два анимированных ролика, которые в простой и доходчивой форме помогают разобраться в том, что же это такое и почему Magna Carta имеет такое огромное историческое значение.  Текст читает Терри Джонс - британский актер, режиссер, и историк, знакомый нам по проекту "Монти Пайтон". Рекомендую к просмотру всем, кто интересуется британской историей и изучает английский язык. Для вашего удобства привожу также и расшифровку текста.

What is Magna Carta?

This may look like a plain, unassuming piece of parchment, but it’s actually one of the most famous documents in the world. Magna Carta, meaning ‘the Great Charter’, has inspired people across the centuries, from Thomas Jefferson to Mahatma Gandhi. But why was the charter originally created? And what does it actually say?

Let us take you back to medieval England. It’s the year 1215, and the ruler is King John. Many people believe that King John was one of the worst kings in history. He imprisoned his former wife; he starved his opponents to death; he allegedly murdered his own nephew, and pulled the beards of the Irish Chiefs.

King John had imposed heavy taxes on his barons in order to pay for his expensive foreign wars. If they refused to pay, he punished them severely or seized their property. The barons demanded that King John obey the law; when he refused, they captured London and John was forced to negotiate. 

The two sides met at Runnymede in June 1215. The result of the negotiations was written down by the king’s clerks in the document we know as Magna Carta. Although most of the charter’s clauses dealt with medieval rights and customs, Magna Carta has become a powerful symbol of liberty around the world.

The most famous clause, which is still part of the law today, for the first time gave all ‘free men’ the right to justice and a fair trial.

‘No man shall be arrested or imprisoned except by the judgment of their equals and by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.’

However, this clause was not as liberal at it sounds. The Charter only applied to ‘free men’, the vast majority of people in 1215 were unfree peasants who were ruled over by their landowners.

And although, Magna Carta was intended to create peace between King John and his rebellious barons, England was plunged into civil war after the Pope declared the Charter invalid.

When King John died of dysentery in 1216, nine year old Henry III took to the throne. To keep the peace, Magna Carta was reissued several times during the 13th century, until it was finally made part of English law.

Magna Carta has lived on for 800 years, and is echoed in the United States Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Perhaps Magna Carta’s most important legacy is that everyone – including our leaders – must obey the law.

What started out as a document of specific complaints from a group of barons has turned into an international symbol of liberty, without which we might not have the rights we value so much today.

800 Years of Magna Carta

This is the story of an 800 year old medieval document known as Magna Carta, or the ‘Great Charter’. It’s one of the most famous documents in the world. But how did this old piece of parchment become such a powerful symbol of our rights and freedoms?

Magna Carta was granted in 1215 and established for the first time that everyone, even the king, had to obey the law. When Magna Carta was printed for the first time, it became the first law that all English lawyers studied. But many people didn’t realise its significance. Shakespeare wrote a play about King John in which he failed to mention Magna Carta.

In the 1600s, English lawyers used Magna Carta to challenge King Charles I. At this time, the king could ignore parliament and imprison anyone who opposed him. Inspired by Magna Carta, Sir Edward Coke wrote the Petition of Right, which set out to limit the king’s powers.

Around the same time, Magna Carta was taken overseas to America by the first British settlers. Many American colonies based their own laws on Magna Carta. Then, in the 1770s the Americans fought for independence from Britain. Magna Carta became a symbol of American liberty, and its principles were echoed in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

In 18th century Britain, Magna Carta was used to protest against the censorship of the press. At this time, people could be imprisoned without trial for criticising the king. When newspaper publisher John Wilkes was arrested for insulting King George III, he used Magna Carta to fight for his freedom. He claimed that ancient English liberties were under threat. Wilkes’s campaign showed Magna Carta on everything from posters to teapots. You could say that Magna Carta went viral!

In the 1800s, very few people had the right to vote in Britain. A nationwide movement of working people known as the Chartists, inspired by Magna Carta, created a ‘People’s Charta’ to fight for all men to have the vote. Then, in the early 1900s the Suffragettes used Magna Carta to argue that all women should have the right to vote too.

Increasingly, people across the empire argued for rights equal to those of British citizens. Gandhi fought successfully for greater freedom for the Indian settlers in South Africa. He described the resulting document as ‘the Magna Carta of our liberty in this land.’ In his famous speech from the dock, Nelson Mandela declared his admiration for Magna Carta and for Western democracy, which he contrasted with the oppressive South African regime.

Perhaps the most significant influence of Magna Carta today is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Written after the atrocities of World War II, the declaration states that people around the world are protected by fundamental human rights, regardless of their citizenship, race, gender or beliefs. Eleanor Roosevelt famously said that the Declaration may well become ‘the international Magna Carta of all men everywhere’.

Although very few of Magna Carta’s original clauses remain valid in English law, it continues to inspire people worldwide. Not a bad legacy for an 800 year old document!

Источник: http://www.bl.uk/magna-carta
О Великой хартии вольностей на русском языке можно почитать здесь: http://www.krugosvet.ru/enc/istoriya/VELIKAYA_HARTIYA_VOLNOSTE.html

Партнеры "Англомании":

Zatchels - кожаные сумки ручной работы. Сделано в Великобритании.

2 комментария:

Ksenia комментирует...

Какой замечательный ролик! Спасибо большое, что поделились)

Unknown комментирует...

Such a pleasant cartoon!) Unbelievable, that Britons mangaged not only to establish the "world law", but to maintain it!

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