Essay about The Peasants' Revolt and Effect on England

Essay about The Peasants' Revolt and Effect on England

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The most serious revolt upon all the revolts that Medieval England has experienced is the Peasants’ Revolt, which erupted in June 1381. Despite being described as the first step towards democracy, the demerits of the Peasants' Revolt overcome its merits (that are overemphasized.) Peasants did not achieve all their rightful demands at the time and it is not certain that its effect is ongoing till this day.

When the Black Death spread in Europe from 1348 to 1351,about 30% of the population died and many manors were left short of workers. On 1351 a law was issued at the end of the Black Death by the English parliament named as “The Statute of Labourers.” It prohibited peasants from demanding more wages or taking advantage of the lack of workers. Another reason for the revolt is that peasants were forced to work for free on the land of the Church for two days a week, which means that they could not work on their own land to provide food to their own families. This burden benefited the church and led the serfs and peasants to more poverty. Hence, they were supported by a priest from Kent called “John Ball.” During this period, England was at a long war with France. In 1377, King Richard II imposed a new tax named “The Poll (Head) Tax” to compensate the loss of money needed in war. In May 1381, a tax collector called “Thomas Bampton” arrived at the Essex village of Fobbing and was thrown out by the villagers. In the first of June, Sir Robert Belknap, the chief justice was sent there to calm the situation down, but he faced the same fate of Bampton. After that, an army of peasants from Kent and Essex marched on London under the leadership of “Wat Tyler” from Kent. The rebels prepared their demands and they met King Richard...


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...on has described the revolt as “unnecessary” and its effects as “negligible.” After the Black Death, labor became quite expensive and whether the Peasants’ Revolt happened or not, the feudal system was coming to an end either ways. If this revolt were to be erased from history, I believe the change would not have been noticeable today as it does not have such a great impact compared to the enforcement of the Magna Carta, for instance.




To conclude, the Peasants’ Revolt did not collapse the dictatorship as many people are alleging, some exaggerated in describing its importance.



Works Cited


http://www.marxists.org/history/england/peasants-revolt/story.htm
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/peasants_revolt.htm
https://medievalchristianityd.wikispaces.com/Peasants+Revolt+of+1381
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks3/history/middle_ages/peasants_revolt/revision/6/

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