In 1215, a group of English barons rebelled against King John out of frustration and anger over his repeated violations of feudal and common law. Acceding to the barons’ demands on June 15 at Runnymede, the king agreed to sign the Magna Carta, now considered the foundation of English constitutional history.
The Magna Carta, whose 63 clauses contain the seeds of the rights to trial by jury, due process, habeas corpus and equality under the law, became a symbol of the supremacy of the constitution over the king. Its influence is seen in the United States Constitution and it was cited by the Supreme Court as recently as 2008 in Boumediene v. Bush.
National Archives and Records Administration, Magna Carta and its American Legacy.
Max Radin, The Myth of Magna Carta, 60 Harv. L. Rev. 1060.
William Sharp McKechnie, Magna Carta: A Commentary on the Great Charter of King John, with an Historical Introduction.
BBC Radio 4 Programmes, In Our Time: The Magna Carta