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Today: How radical was the Magna Carta?

April 23rd, 2015

Episode 306 of 1744 episodes

It is 800 years since one of the most important documents in British history, The Magna Carta, was sealed. The 13th century document is widely seen as the cornerstone of the British constitution. It has long been seen as a pioneering and radical document but historian David Starkey argues that it was not as radical as many believe. Instead, it was a very English compromise – evolving through the more significant revisions of 1216 and 1225 to become the bedrock of the English constitution enabling the monarchy to continue. David Starkey is a historian and author of ‘Magna Carta: The true story behind the charter’ and Baroness Helena Kennedy is a human rights barrister and Labour peer who presented a R4 programme on the Magna Carta earlier this year.

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