King John Character Analysis

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Before his reign, King John proved many times to be unfit for the responsibility of a monarch. He was the youngest child of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitane, as well the brother of Richard the Lion-Hearted. Born into power, he received control over Ireland as a young boy. However, his poor leadership and management skills eventually lead to a failing reign. Not only offending the nobility with his brash and arrogant personality, he lost areas of Ireland due to his ineptitude for both political and military decisions. Traitorous and desperate for power, he supported a failing revolt against his own father with his brothers from 1173-1174. After his father, King Henry II, succumbed to illness, his brother Richard became king (Knight 108). Richard…show more content…
Reigning from 1199-1216 (Baron 345), he was forever known as a king so unfavorable, he would be antagonized in the fictional story of Robin Hood. King John constantly abused his power, his greediness and cruelty leading to the development of the Magna Carta. As England was deeply in debt from his brother’s time in power, John heavily taxed the people, incurring not only the disapproval and anger of barons and knights (“King John and Magna Carta”), but also the starvation of commoners (Knight 108). His heinous taxing was companion to the robbing of citizen’s possessions (Knight 109). Taxing the populace into starvation, the people became incredibly unhappy, defying his order. Disobedience in lower ranks caused John to increase the strictness of his rule, only resulting in more unhappiness and discontent from the barons. The people saw these taxes and increased control as an attack on freedom (“King John and Magna Carta”). Power hungry, he even attempted to control the church, limiting its power, as it was seen as a threat to his reign. However, this only resulted in his own excommunication, losing support from the Pope and straining the relationship between the British crown and the cornerstone of the Roman Catholic Church. From 1209 to 1213, Pope Innocent III, the Pope whom King John had angered, placed England under an…show more content…
King John’s desperate attempts to hold on to power angered those he exploited, leading to the development of the document which would shatter the stability of the feudalistic hierarchy. The fear of eternal damnation in Hell and the hope of eternal salvation in Heaven acted as a catalyst for the formation and administration of feudalism. Enforced by the belief of the Great Chain of Being, the strict hierarchy of society was built in such a way that each role had its duties that would ultimately benefit each level. Collapsing upon itself in a tempest of rebellions, feudalism met its climax with the Magna Carta, and brought forth a world of

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