In 1215, King John sealed Magna
Carta by the Thames at Runnymede in Surrey, a charter between the monarch and his
Barons placing limits on his power over freeborn men in the kingdom. Magna Carta
enshrined the principle that all people should be bound by the rule of law,
including the monarch, and that the processes of justice must be applied to
all. Many political thinkers have celebrated Magna Carta as the first example
of a bill of rights, an ancient constitution.
This introductory course, based on a new level 5
course Commemorating the Past that
will be offered for the first time in 2015-16, examines the historical roles
that Magna Carta has played, and the importance of Magna Carta today. Members
of the History Department at Royal Holloway, a college of the University of
London, will deliver the course. In addition to the lectures with an explicit
historical focus, the lectures in week fours and five will explore the continuing
international significance of Magna Carta, and of Runnymede, through video segments produced by lecturers in the Geography Department and the Politics and International
Magna Carta, Parliament and the Law 1215-1300 (Lecturers: Nigel Saul and Jonathan Phillips)
Learning outcome: to set the scene for studying Magna Carta; to show how Magna Carta became embedded in practice
The reinvention of Magna Carta, 1508-1642 (Lecturer: Justin Champion)
Learning outcomes: to understand how the significance of the Magna Carta was reinvented in the
context of the conflict between monarchy and parliament; to explore the use
of Magna Carta in political cartoons
The Whig Ancient Constitution, 1642-1776 (Lecturer: Justin Champion)
Learning Outcomes: to understand, and examine, how the ‘idea’ rather than
the ‘event’ of Magna Carta became used by conservative and radical political
groups; to understand the export of the tradition of Magna Carta into the
Magna Carta and the wider world: constitution making (Lecturer: Emm
Johnstone with others)
Learning outcomes include: to
understand the significance of Magna Carta and its ideals in the establishment
of constitutions and bills of human rights over the past two centuries
Public history: memorialisation and memorials (Lecturer: Graham Smith
Learning outcomes include
examining the purposes of commemoration in modern society.
Magna Carta: A History of an Argument c.1800-2015 (Lecturer: Graham
Learning outcomes include: to
appreciate the complex and contested uses of Magna Carta in contemporary
debates about human rights and the rule of law.
Emm Johnstone, Graham Smith, Justin Champion, Nigel Saul and Jonathan Phillips
Start your review of Freedom and protest: Magna Carta and its legacies
Anonymous completed this course.
Mixed. Started very well, then disintegrated. Some of the presenters were brilliant, others were almost unintelligible. Felt like an effort to pad the course with irrelevant asides. I was completely engaged for a while, then irritated, and finally just gave up.