Did Bad King John Deserve his Reputation?
In this assessment, I will talk about whether King John was really as bad as people say he was by looking carefully at different sources and evidence.
To many, John was cruel, greedy and ultimately a failure as King. John's reputation as England's worst monarch is partly due to hostile chroniclers, but also to an unfortunate reign.In the beginning of his reign (1202) John's nephew died and everyone thought John was to blame and so they rebelled.In the early 13th century, a group of monks said that when John died, no-one mourned his passing. A TV show called Most Evil compares John to Adolf Hitler, a mass-murderer who committed genocide, and Dracula, a semi-fictional character, as one of the most evil men who ever lived. The Disney film called Robin Hood portrays John as a greedy,self-centered king who will do anything to get his own way, and he is often shown counting his money. They also make out that everyone in England hates him. However, this film was based on legend which isn't really a reliable source of evidence.
People might think this opinion is true because John did many bad things in his reign, such as raising taxes and supposedly killing his nephew. The monks didn't like him because he annoyed the Pope, so they wrote exaggerated things about him that people believe today. Most Evil and the film Robin Hood were probably also exaggerated as they were meant for entertainment.
Because of this, more people who have watched the Robin Hood TV series and the Robin Hood Disney film now believe that John really was bad.
John also fell out with the pope in 1207. They quarrelled about who should become the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Pope excommunicated John and put England under a Church law that stated that no christening or marriage would be legal until the time the pope said that they would be. Church law said that only christened people could get to Heaven while children born out of marriage...
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