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It was the first of many versions to follow, and the beginning of the end for unlimited monarchical power. What John had signed was a contract, binding him to respect the rights of Englishmen and freedom of the church. Several clauses protected habeas corpus, providing due process for the accused. King John was, most unwillingly, bound to the law of his land. And in case he should forget, copies were sent to bishops and royal sheriffs across the country. Although John never held himself to his contract, and mired the country in a civil war until his death, his young son Henry III reissued the charter after inheriting the crown. The Magna Carta wove its way into English common law and stayed, a legal precedent for the rights of Englishmen. Five and a half centuries later, its ideals would be reproduced in our American Constitution.