Around the time of King John, who was in some respects a competent man, he was a fairly good general, he had a vague understanding of the executive branch, there was an idea amongst the rulers that kings were essentially above the law, and their justification for this idea was sometimes referred to as "Divine Majesty." This idea asserted that a king was subject to no earthly authority, a person's ascension to the thrown was the will of God. Oddly, Divine Majesty is making a bit of a come back here in the United States. Indeed a radical and wealthy Christian outfit which for some absurd reason is called Liberty University, is hoping to further its fundamentalist cause by funding a movie that will attempt to encourage the idea that the current President of the United States was chosen by God. It strikes me that such obsequious star-effing so bites the big one a person has to wonder whether events since the end of the Early Stone Age ever happened. And it's true Aboriginal Peoples of Australia held the view that waking hours were more likely fantasy, it was the dream world of sleep were reality actually existed, so we got that to hold on to.
King John, who was a Norman King of Saxon England, struggled with appalling
social skills which included being very petty, very spiteful, very cruel and
red-headed. But after all, he had been chosen by God, so how could he go wrong.
During his reign he fought a war against the King of France and he succeeded in
losing Normandy, the land of the Normans, which is or was no small territory in
the north eastern part of France. One of the main reasons he lost the war was
his attitude toward what you might call his natural allies, he pissed the hell
out of them. In those days when kings lost territory it kind of aggravated the
populace. The loss of territory was usually a big financial hit to the upper
income group. Lower down the scale, the common man, or peasant, would probably
begin to wonder whether God might have made an error of judgment which always
aggravated the priests. It's also the case that primarily as a consequence of
John's appalling social skills and his zoo of self serving Liberty University
type courtiers, so infuriated both Norman and Saxon Land owners that in 1215
they ganged up and forced him to sign the Great Charter or the Magna Carta,
which did absolutely nothing for most of us but which I always thought was at
least the beginning of the end of this Divine Majesty nonsense.