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WHAT DID THE MAGNA DO FOR THE COMMONERS AND SERFS SPECEFICALLY? DID IT LIMIT THE POWER...

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layah305 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 10, 2009 at 8:59 AM via web

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WHAT DID THE MAGNA DO FOR THE COMMONERS AND SERFS SPECEFICALLY? DID IT LIMIT THE POWER OF THE NOBLES?WHAT DID IT DO TO FEUDALISM?

I KNOW THIS QUESTION IS COMPLICATED BUT, I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO HEAR YOUR IDEAS.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 10, 2009 at 9:05 AM (Answer #1)

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Magna Carta didn't do anything for the commoners and the serfs.  It did protect certain rights, but only for "freemen."  The vast majority of people in England in 1215 were not free but were rather serfs or villeins who were not free to leave the land on which they lived.

It did not really limit the powers of the nobles.  It restated some of the king's rights, but only as a way of expressing that these were the only rights he had.

Magna Carta did not end feudalism.  Instead, it just shifted the balance of power within feudalism in England.  It gave more power to the nobles and took some from the king, but it was still a feudal system that remained in place in England for centuries to come.

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