The Magna Carta
After the death of Henry II, the rule of England fell to his son, Richard I, and later to another of his sons, John. These leaders were not effective. John lost territory to the French, which upset many. He also increased taxes and oppressed many of his people, arresting them without trials.
In 1215 A.D., many of the nobles in England, who were tired of losing their power, and who were concerned by the tyrant-like behavior of John, came together and wrote a document called the Magna Carta.
The Magna Carta is one of the most important documents in history. It guaranteed the people certain rights, and bound the king to certain laws.
After writing the document, these nobles forced King John to sign it on the threat of civil war. Their intention was only to protect the rights of nobles. They did not care so much about the poor peasants. Nevertheless, in time, the rights established by the Magna Carta were also extended to commoners.