The Magna Carta promised protection of the rights of the Church, protection against illegal incursions, access to rapid justice, and, most importantly, the limitations in matters of taxes and other feudal payments to the Crown, which in certain cases they would require the consent of the barons. It addressed the issue of the rights of free citizens and, especially those of the barons. Also, the rights of the servants were included in articles 16, 20 and 28. Their style and content were inspired by the Letter of freedoms of Henry I and in all the legal body preserved by the English plus the rights derived from the tradition, including letters with royal concessions in certain cities, in the Church and in status of some European courts such as the Pamiers Statute.

In what historians call Clause 61 or Clause of Freedom, a council of 25 barons was created, which the king should consult. If, in the next 40 days, the king did not comply with the Magna Carta, this clause gave barons the right to take the royal castles and expropriate their lands. The barons should oath to be able to attend the Council, which would be presided over by the king, but if they violate the oath in some way the king would continue to rule as before. Other kings had done in the past concessions to rebels but the novelty of the Magna Carta was in the fact that it created an officially recognized means of coercing the king not to get rid of his promises.

Therefore, the King remained as the ruler of England, but absolutism was revoked, and a series of controls to its powers were established.