To mark the 800th anniversary of the ratification of the Magna Carta by King John at Runnymede, Magna Carta provides the central European perspectives on this monumental document and its impact on the political and legal experiences of freedom, from the medieval period to the present day. The volume gives rise to a discussion about the legacy of the Magna Carta as one of the fundamental elements of European identity.
Supported by previously untranslated sources at the end of each chapter, the team of contributors consider the lasting legacy of Magna Carta in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Lithuania. The authors present the successful attempts to limit royal power by law while protecting the priveleges of the nobility carried out throughout the region from the thirteenth to eighteenth centuries. Each chapter considers the historical and political contexts behind these efforts, the processes by which political and legal institutions were subsequently formed and finally examines the legacy of those institutions which are today found in constitutional identities, constitutional arrangements and political projects across Central Europe. A preface by Robert Blackburn draws the collection together, highlighting the continued universal significance of the Magna Carta.
This original title will enable students and academics alike to see for themselves the reverberations the Magna Carta caused in medieval Europe and beyond from a fresh and unusual perspective.
"Reputable scholars have researched the far-reaching legacy of Magna Carta concerning such fundamental liberties as due process in administering justice, governance according to law, and the values of liberty and equality as these universalist qualities have played out in the histories of Hungary, the Czech lands, Poland, and Lithuania… This volume could be eye-opening for readers who consider the legacy of Magna Carta to be confined to Britain, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Summing Up: Recommended." — A. C. Reeves, CHOICE Reviews
Preface by Robert Blackburn Acknowledgements List of Contributors 1. Why Do We Central Europeans Celebrate the Anniversary of Magna Carta? Introductory Remarks Zbigniew Rau, Marek Tracz-Tryniecki, Przemysław Żurawski vel Grajewski 2. a) The Hungarian experience of freedom – the tradition of the Golden Bull Attila K. Molnar and Levente Völgyesi b) The Hungarian Sources 3. a) King, Estates and the Czech Crown. The Legal Sources of the Ideas of Freedom in the Medieval and Early Modern Czech Lands
Jana Janišová – Dalibor Janiš b) The Czech Sources 4. a) The nobility’s privileges and the formation of civil liberties in old Poland Dorota Malec b)The Polish Sources 5. a) Ruling by Law and by Consent: Monarchy and Noble Estate in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Artūras Vasiliauskas b) The Lithuanian Sources