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The Peasants Revolt

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Rachael Cook

on 25 November 2015

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Transcript of The Peasants Revolt

The Peasants Revolt

1348 Black Death
Black Death
killed an estimated
of the population in England, most of which were peasants.
- This lead to a
shortage of workers
on the land
- Man power for agricultural work was in
short supply

- Competition for work pushed
sharply upwards
- The
of land owners were destroyed
- The trading, commercial and financial networks in the towns

The effects of the Black Death lead was a long term cause of the Peasants Revolt because it contributed greatly to the economic and social upheaval of the 14th Century.
1351 The Statute of Labourers
These laws attempted to fix wages at pre-plague levels in order to restore the economy and the balance of power.
- It became illegal to refuse work or break an existing contract
- Fines were imposed on those who transgressed
- Punishments were tightened in 1861 when offenders were branded and imprisoned

The royal government had not intervened
in this way before, or allied itself with the
local landowners in quite such an obvious
or unpopular way. The social tensions
spiraled into the Peasants Revolt in 1381.
L3 : Significance & Historiography
LO = To understand why the Peasants Revolt is considered to be one of the greatest moments in British history.
L1 : What was the Peasants Revolt?
Starter : What do we know?
1377 - 1381 Poll Tax
The Hundred Year War with France started in 1337. By the 1370s, England's army was stretched militarily and financially. Taxes were raised in order to fund the war effort.
- 1377 = The first Poll Tax was introduced at a rate of 4d per persons over the age of 15.
- 1381 = For a third time taxes were raised, but this time to 12d, a significant increase that no peasant could afford.

These tax increases were hugely unpopular and many in the south east refused to pay.
It's arguable this last tax that
triggered the Revolt just
a few months later.
The Church
The church was the biggest land owner in England at the time and was therefore extremely rich. Before the plague, peasants had been forced to work for free on church lands, reducing the time they had to work for money. The laws introduces in the 1350's and 1360's were intended to protect the riches of the Priests and to decrease the earnings of the poor.
John Ball
John Ball preached radical sermons on social equality and was one of the first to preach in English rather than Latin, a great political gesture against the clergy. Despite being thrown into prison on multiple occasions, he continued to fight with the peasants and was a key player in the revolts in 1381.
However, there were some Priests that supported the peasants and believed in their right to earn money. Many preached to the poor and encouraged them to rebel throughout England.
The Hundred Years War
L2 :Causes
The Hundreds Year War was fought against France from 1337. It was a long and bloody war which was fairly unsuccessful from an English perspective. However, it was continually fought, wasting English money and slaughtering English men. This caused unrest and outrage throughout the country.
The Peasants Revolt 1881
Unit Outline
L1. What was the Peasants Revolt?
L2. What were the Causes of the
Peasants Revolt?
L3. How was the Peasants Revolt
Lesson Plan
LO - To identify and understand the causes of
the Peasants revolt.
LOu -
All - Will be able to sequence the main causes of the Peasants revolt
Most - Will be able to explain why they Peasants Revolt happened in 1881
Some - Will be able to analyse the the importance of long term and short term causes and prioritise their resulting importance
Starter - What would you have done in 1381?
This is a game devised to make them think in the circumstances that the peasants would have been in at the time.

There are 10 questions with 4 answers - A,B,C,D. Each answer equates to a score which is added up at the end.

A sample question
1. You have paid all your taxes but you are told you need to pay poll tax on top. You havn't any money and your family is starving - what do you do?
a) run away to the forest and become and outlaw (2)
b) borrow money and pay up to avoid going to prison (1)
c) refuse to pay (3)
d) get together with your friends and all refuse to pay (4)

Scoring System
10-15 = 'You are a cautious peasant and are easily taken in by the Kings promises'
16-25 = 'You join the revolt but mainly for fun & something to do, not the cause'
26-35 = 'You go to London to support the peasants but are doubtful of success'
36-40 = 'You are a revolt leader, many of which were killed as result of this'
Everyone Loves a Card Sort
Each card can be an event in the lead up to the Peasants revolt
Match the date to the event and then ...
Chronological order

Long term and Short term Causes

Economic and Social causes

Significance Continuum
What might have happened if ...
Would the rebellion still have happened if certain events didn't happen?
Class discussion before a vote
Everyone has to write a paragraph explaining why their chosen event was such a significant cause of the Peasants Revolt and what might have or might not have happened if this event hadn't of happened.
Lesson Plan
LO = To identify the main events of the Peasants Revolt and understand why it was so shocking
LOu =
Some - Will be able to explain why the events of the Peasants Revolt were so shocking in 1881
Most - Will be able to describe the scale and size of the Peasants Revolt.
All - Will be able to sequence the order of events
What do I know about the Peasants Revolt?
What questions do I have about the Peasants Revolt?
Plenary - Why is the Peasants Revolt so shocking?
Students need to watch the video clip and note down the key events - depending on ability it may be necessary to pause the clip in useful places
After the video clip collate all their ideas on the board.
Make sure important facts are noted e.g. where, when, who, how many?
Students can then pick 6 of the events which they think are most important which they can create a story board from.
They can finish this for H/W
The Peasants Revolt in 1381 failed so why do we remember it as so significant?
This clip has some interesting points about this
Start with a class discussion and then get the students to think about how the Peasants Revolt would equate in a modern day setting. Could it ever happen? Would it ever happen?
What would we be revolting about?
LOu =
All - Will be able to describe why historians consider the Peasants Revolt is to be significant in British History
Most - Will be able to explain how significant they think the Peasants Revolt is in British History
Some - Will be able to analyse how significant the Peasants Revolt it in comparison to similar events in this period.
Starter : Results of the Peasants Revolt
What do the Historians Say?
Stephen Justice
"Poor people had well defined political beliefs in the 14th Century, and these ideas survived. The Peasants Revolt was the beginning of English ideas about freedom"
Richard did not keep his promises and Serfdom was not abolished
Success of Failure? Why is it considered so significant?
Some historians believe that the revolt made the King proud and overconfident and that this lead to his fall in 1399
The rebellion frightened the rich and made them realise that the poor could not be pushed to far. No government collected poll tax until 1990
The government was angry with leading priests and this lead to the persecution of many
Leaders of the Rebellion became local and national heroes, these including Wat Tyler and Jack Straw
R B Dobson
Dobson described the Rebellion as 'unnecessary' and it's effects as 'negligible'
Dan Jones
"One of the most astonishing events in the later middle ages"
"In short, the rebellion was both a comprehensive damnation of English Government and a startling announcement of the new political consciousness of the common folk of England."
Who's opinion do you agree with?
Provide more evidence of consequences
Choose a range of evidence from each historians book to demonstrate their arguments
Class vote - choose people to select their most convincing piece of evidence and explain why
How significant was the Peasants Revolt?
"The Peasants Revolt is a signpost on the road from the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and Magna Carta in 1215 to Bosworth in 1485, the Armada in 1588 and everything beyond" Dan Jones, The Summer of Blood
Compare the significance of the Peasants revolt to 1 or 2 of these 4 events using the GREAT proforma
Common Misconceptions
- Medieval England was temperamental - this kind of thing happened a lot

- Poll Tax seems like a small amount of money in comparison to today's standards - what was all the fuss about?

- Democracy didn't exist in England at this time

- This importance of the church at this time was massive and therefore the impact of the priests was hugely significant
(Identify Misconceptions)
Mini Unit Plenary
What do I know about the Peasants Revolt?
What questions do I have about the Peasants Revolt?
Was I right?
Has my question been answered?
Yes - the answer is ...
No - How can I find out?
Yes - I have also found out
No - It was actually ...
What is the Peasants revolt? 1381
Starting in Kent, the Peasants Revolt saw thousands of men march on London, demanding social change. Led by Wat Tyler, the rebels marched on London, capturing the Tower of London and murdering the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Kings Treasurer. King Richard was forced to meet with the rebels and appeared at first to concede to their demands. However, after the initial agreement, Wat Tyler was killed by the Lord Mayor and the loss of leadership caused the rebels to fall apart. Any remaining rebels were executed and King Richard II continued with his policies of high taxation. Whilst the rebels appeared to have achieved nothing, it can be considered a significant attack on the English monarchy
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