History KS3 & KS4/GCSE: Magna Carta: liberty and legacy

The legacy of Magna Carta was not just influential on the American revolutionaries, but helped influence the Declaration of Independence.

One of the authors of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, was heavily influenced by the document and strived to represent its main themes in the country’s new constitution.

Later generations of politicians and activists referred back to the charter when making the case for political reform or to challenge over-powerful Presidents.

As terrorist groups threaten to undermine the stability of modern society, central governments once again try to increase their power at the expense of individual freedoms.

This clip is from the series David Starkey's Magna Carta.

Teachers Notes

Pupils could be asked to compare the effects of the Magna Carta on America, with its effect on England.

As a starting point, they could be asked to consider the following as part of the comparison: relations between the people and the monarch; influence on constitutions; modern day importance.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching KS3 and KS4/GCSE History in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4/5 in Scotland.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC in England and Wales, CCEA in Northern Ireland and SQA in Scotland.

More from David Starkey's Magna Carta

Magna Carta and the Stuart kings: England in a century of crisis
The Charter’s first century
The Birth of Magna Carta