Why the Magna Carta is imporant to students
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Rebel barons, back door dealings and bad King John: in the season of warm fireside stories and ultra camp pantomimes, the Magna Carta makes a rollicking tale. However, for students it should have a particular relevant meaning as so much of the student landscape has been shaped by the Magna Carta - and it should thus act as a source of inspiration. The political engagement of students to say the least is troubled, even more so now that students are not automatically signed up to vote. Something is needed to inspire students, something that is not the normal, sterile and ultimately dull National Union Of Students ‘campaigns.’ The answer is in the Magna Carta: what better a narrative to inspire anyone than one that makes a King recognise the limits of his authority? Now, the charter itself is considerably more complicated than the story book version of it; indeed the specific details such as church rights and levies on feudal payments might seem a world away. In fact in the short term it was a failure, a document that intended to bring peace but ultimately caused war.
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