Monday, June 15, 2015

History or story

The document placed limitations on the king. It was actually of immediate benefit to a small segment of the populace-- the nobility, but it established a tradition of the rule of law. This is a familiar story but we are not talking about Runnymede. We are talking about Hungary's Golden Bull less than 7 years after the Magna Carta. Why have historians forgotten the Golden Bull?. This forgetting lets us consider the English saga as nobler than it actually was. Recalling this detail of Hungarian history allows us to glimpse historical progress of a broader scope. Both events raise the question of the mechanisms of history--- is there a larger kind of progress which minimizes the contributions of "heroes." The Axis Time events suggest  this possibility. Were the Magna Carta and the Golden Bull parts of an on-going articulation of humanity?

King John, or II  Andras were not confused about whether they made their own fate, but modern historians default to this notion of the plucky individual battling his fate. And it can distort their evaluation of events.