July 26, 2014

IT KEPT THE FRENCH BOVINE AND LIBERATED US:

The most important battle you've probably never heard of (Hugh Schofield, 7/25/14, BBC News)

"Bouvines is the most important battle in English history that no-one has ever heard of," says John France, professor emeritus in medieval history at Swansea University.

"Without Bouvines there is no Magna Carta, and all the British and American law that stems from that. It's a muddy field, the armies are small, but everything depends on the struggle. It's one of the climactic moments of European history." [...]
King John was not at the battle. He was still in the south. But his dreams of reconquest were dashed. He returned to England, humiliated and impoverished. Less than a year later - his barons increasingly belligerent and the French now revealing their own designs on the English crown - he was forced to sign the Magna Carta, which limited his power and formed the basis of English democracy.

"The road from Bouvines to Magna Carta was direct and short," says Sean McGlynn, an expert in the period at the Open University. "Bouvines was the last straw. If John had won the battle, Magna Carta could have been avoided. But it was the decisiveness of the defeat. All his taxation had gone to waste. He was weakened, and the barons saw their opportunity."

John France adds: "If the English and their allies had won at Bouvines, John would have had the plunder and the prestige. The baronial opposition would have melted away. This was that rare thing: a battle that was genuinely decisive."
Posted by at July 26, 2014 7:28 AM
  
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