Anthony Musson
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The politicisation of law
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This chapter maintains that the key concerns and political debates during the period 1215-1381 invariably rested on issues of legal import, among them ways of defining the legitimate exercise of royal power, matters of jurisdiction, law and order, and the functioning of the judicial system. It examines some of the contexts in which law entered the political arena and the processes by which royal authority was transmitted to, and received by, subjects. The chapter focuses on kingship and particularly the use of image and rhetoric in upholding public order and maintaining confidence in the law. It considers the attempts on the part of successive monarchs to legitimise their actions on the national and international stage by applying legal concepts and processes. The chapter looks at 'popular' attitudes towards the law and the assimilation of legal concepts as manifested in the Peasants' Revolt.

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Medieval law in context

The growth of legal consciousness from Magna Carta to the Peasants’ Revolt

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