David Starkey’s Valentine To Magna Carta

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

Encapsulating the concept of personal freedom, suggesting that political authority requires the consent of the governed, and seeking to balance the rights of the citizen with the needs of the crown, David Starkey’s Magna Carta (PBS Friday 14th, 8.30pm) looks at what remains a document of enormous historical significance.

Paving the way for America’s Declaration of Independence and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it was invoked in 1215 to curb the excesses of royal power, as exercised by the profligate King John. Historian David Starkey examines the part played by Magna Carta in bringing everyone – the monarch included – under the rule of law, and how its influence spread far beyond these shores as a universal symbol of individual freedom against state tyranny.

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