Mark Byrnes Defends the Magna Carta

In response to Tom Ginsburg (“Stop Revering the Magna Carta”) and David Allen Green (“The Destructive Myth of the Magna Carta”), Mark Byrnes argues that it’s “OK to celebrate Magna Carta.” Read his argument here:

History News Network | It’s Ok to Celebrate Magna Carta.

King John signing the Magna Carta (1215).  Undated illustration, after a painting by Chappel. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

King John signing the Magna Carta (1215). Undated illustration, after a painting by Chappel. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Stop Revering Magna Carta – NYTimes.com

“Magna Carta has everything going for it to be venerated in the United States: It is old, it is English and, because no one has actually read the text, it is easy to invoke to fit current needs.” So true!

Read Tom Ginsburg’s argument de-mythologizing the famous document:

Stop Revering Magna Carta – NYTimes.com.

King John at Runnymede (1215) signing the Magna Carta

King John at Runnymede (1215) signing the Magna Carta

“The History & Legacy of Magna Carta Explained in Animated Videos by Monty Python’s Terry Jones” | History News Network

Do you need to brush up on your Magna Carta history? The British Museum has made a short video on the Magna Carta. It’s a great overview of the basic story of the document and its legacy.

History News Network | The History & Legacy of Magna Carta Explained in Animated Videos by Monty Python’s Terry Jones.

The Magna Carta Myth – The New Yorker

The Magna Carta has reached sacred status in the U.S., but its status has been built upon mythic foundations. The purposes it has served have generally been positive, illustrating that not all myth making is bad.  Jill Lepore explores this history in The New Yorker. She observes that “[i]t would not be quite right to say that Magna Carta has withstood the ravages of time. It would be fairer to say that, like much else that is very old, it is on occasion taken out of the closet, dusted off, and put on display to answer a need. Such needs are generally political. They are very often profound.” Read the entire story here:

The Magna Carta Myth – The New Yorker.

King John at Runnymede (1215) signing the Magna Carta

King John at Runnymede (1215) signing the Magna Carta

From fascism to parking tickets – some odd Magna Carta moments| History News Network

The British Library currently has an exhibition to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta (Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, and Legacy). One of the exhibit’s curators discusses some interesting things he has learned while preparing the exhibition:

History News Network | From fascism to parking tickets – some odd Magna Carta moments.

King John at Runnymede (1215) signing the Magna Carta

King John at Runnymede (1215) signing the Magna Carta