The year 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the Great Charter imposed on King John by his barons in the thirteenth century to ensure he upheld traditional customs of the nobility. Though it began as a safeguard of the aristocracy, over the past 800 years, the Magna Carta has become a cornerstone of democratic ideals for all.
After centuries of obscurity, the Magna Carta was rediscovered in the seventeenth century, and has informed numerous documents upholding human rights, including the American Declaration of Independence, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, and the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For Canadians, it has informed key documents from the Royal Proclamation of 1763 that shaped the then-British Colonies and their relations with First Nations, to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This book complements the 2015 Magna Carta Canada exhibition of the Durham Cathedral Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest.
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