magna carta T_Marjorie/Flickr

大宪章800年

普林斯顿—飞离伦敦西斯罗机场(Heathrow Airport)时,你可能会飞越一片叫做兰尼米德(Runnymede)的草地。八百年前的这个月,这片草地色彩斑斓,遍布着男爵和骑士的帐篷,更有规模更大的英格兰约翰王(King John)的王帐,看上去像是飘荡着王旗的马戏团。

这次集会看上去像是游园,但气氛无疑是紧张的。集会的目的是调和反叛贵族和国王之间的冲突,用当时人的话说,国王“恶贯满盈”。

约翰王想要筹集资金夺回在法国失去的土地,他的筹资金额超过了贵族从先人手中继承的常规税费规模。国王没收富裕贵族和商人的地产,有时连人一起劫持,要求巨额赎金。

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