a)   Who are the principal historians of the reign of King John ? What
     changes have taken place in historical opinion on King John?

b)   What  are  the  main  historical sources for  the  reign  ?  What
     opinions  did the Chroniclers hold of  king John ?  How  reliable
     are  the  Chroniclers for this period ? What  other  sources  are

c)   What  kinds of problems did John inherit from  his  predecessors,
     particularly  from  Richard  ? What changes  took  place  in  the
     organisation  of the King's council under Richard ? What was  the
     function of the Justiciar in this period ?

d)   What  policies did John follow to recover the ground lost by  the
     monarchy  under  Richard ? Why were these policies  so  unpopular
     with the barons ?

e)   What  was the significance of the loss of Normandy in 1204 ?  Was
     it a decisive factor in turning the barons against John?

f)   Who  were the barons who actually framed Magna Carta ? Were  they
     drawn  from  the  same group as the rebels  ?   What  were  their
     objectives in framing the Charter?

g)   To  what  extent did the Charter satisfy the  objectives  of  the
     barons  who  led the rebellion ? To what extent did  the  Charter
     reflect a more moderate viewpoint ? Is it possible to regard  the
     Charter as less than a total defeat for John ?

h)   Was the Great Charter a genuinely revolutionary restraint on  the
     king ? Did it really guarantee the 'freedom' of all Englishmen ?

i)   Does  Magna  Carta deserve its place in history ? Why was  it  so
     highly regarded by later generations ? Was their confidence in it
     misplaced ?

j)   Is it possible to defend John's policies ? To what extent was  he
     a victim of circumstances beyond his own control ? What were  his
     achievements ? Does he deserve his evil reputation in history ?

Using the  relevant volume of ENGLISH HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS find,  read
     and annotate the following documents:

a)   The Unknown Charter of Liberties
b)   The articles of the Barons
c)   Magna Carta 1215
d)   Magna Carta 1217