Magna Carta

Posted by Helen Friday, June 15, 2012 , , ,

An important day in the history of England, the Anglosphere and political ideas: on June 15, 1215 the Great Seal was attached to the document called Articles of the Barons at Runnymede. We know it better as Magna Carta, the document that is seen by many as the basis of the special English political development, away from the Continental one, a development that was taken up by the countries that can now be called the Anglosphere.

One wonders, though, what history on the Continent would have been like if the Mongols had not invaded. For in 1222, the barons of Hungary extracted a very similar document from King Andrew II, the Golden Bull. Then in 1241 the Mongols invaded and destroyed what was a well set up kingdom.

The following year Batu Khan withdrew after a reasonable amount of destruction and mass slaughter because the Khan of Khans, Ögedei Khan, had died and his successor had to be elected. Hungary was rebuilt with many more fortresses, as these had largely withstood the onslaught. But political development became somewhat different and the Golden Bull did not occupy the same place that Magna Carta did.


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