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ERIC Number: EJ893822
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Teaching Magna Carta in American History: Land, Law, and Legacy
Saxe, David W.
History Teacher, v43 n3 p329-344 May 2010
Magna Carta, that great cornerstone of American liberty, has been in the news lately. Put up for sale by three-time U.S. Presidential candidate Ross Perot in December 2007, the 1297 version of Magna Carta displayed in the National Archives was sold to financier David Rubenstein for $21.3 million. While its sale demonstrates the cash value of the document as a national treasure, it is debatable whether or not Magna Carta retains much currency in the nation's classrooms. As with other seminal elements of the history curriculum, when given the opportunity, teachers must not only make the commitment to teach a particular topic, but also to lead the way in demonstrating the value of their curricular choices. Magna Carta is the seminal document which America's founders referred to as that "great Charter of liberty." With the 800-year anniversary of Magna Carta in 2015, a scant five years away, it is timely for teachers to pause and reflect on what the document has meant for the Western world and on how they might use Magna Carta in their classrooms. This article is designed to stimulate educators to use Magna Carta and other seminal works and episodes of history to articulate the curricular importance of history in schools. Leaving the curricular politics for another venue, the author invites readers to consider the place Magna Carta holds in American heritage. His aim is to explore how Magna Carta was woven into the American fabric. (Contains 19 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Common Law