Life earn more money and have better

Life was difficult for peasants living in the Middle Ages. The Black Death killed a third of the population. Taxes and prices were rising rapidly, while the peasants were getting paid the same amount as before. The peasants suffered from food and other supply shortages. These peasants were mad at their lords and the government for causing them to suffer. Finally they had enough with the struggling, and saw the time to demand a change was perfect. In 1381 the struggling peasants in England revolted to earn more money and have better working conditions, which was successful in some ways and not in others. The frustration among the peasants was growing larger and larger at the beginning of the 1300s, and eventually the frustration and anger grew too large. The Black Death killed a large amount of the peasants, however the lords still needed people to work on the land. The lords forced the peasants to work more for the same amount of money. Lords wanted to save the money for themselves, and thought the peasants did not deserve the extra money. The peasants were also angry at the church. The church treated peasants like slaves, and forced them to work, without pay, on the church’s land (Newman). This caused peasants to have less time to work on their own land. Therefore, they had less food, money, and other necessities for themselves. Peasants were now suffering from hunger more than ever. The government’s laws and taxes angered the peasants, too. The Statute of Labourers was a law created by the government in 1351, preventing peasants from demanding more money (Peasants). The government realized the peasants were having to work more for the same amount of money, so they created this law. They didn’t want a revolt to occur and the peasants to be able to change their pay. The government issued a new poll tax due to the Hundred Year’s War with France. Normally, a poll tax only happened once, but since the government was so weak, the barons were able to allow the tax to occur three times in just four years (Johnson). A poll tax normally happened once in a while, causing the peasants to become poorer and angrier than they already were. The government was weak during this time because a 14 year old boy, Richard II was the king (Peasants). Richard II’s uncle, John of Gaunt and other barons were his advisors (Johnson). The peasants believed these barons were corrupt, and disliked them being in charge of the government because they just wanted money and land for themselves, and didn’t care about the peasants. The revolt was a quick, lasting for only 16 days, however it was one of the most serious and harsh revolts during the middle ages (Trueman). The revolt was organized because the peasants had strong leaders. Wat Tyler was the main leader of the rebellion, causing the revolt to be called Wat Tyler’s Rebellion (Sommerville). He helped to organize all the people and lead them to London. Many people came to participate in the revolt. “More than 60,000 people are reported to have been involved in the revolt, and not all of them were peasants: soldiers and tradesmen as well as some disillusioned churchmen” (Johnson). The large crowd made the government and lords realize the power the peasants held. There were so many of them, and if they continued to rebel the city would fall apart. The large crowd showed the government how many people were angry at them and their laws. As all these people arrived in London, they burned buildings which had important government records in them and destroyed tax records (Johnson). People also demanded King Richard II cut the taxes, the rent of land to be lowered, and other commodities (Peasants). They were demanding this from Richard II, but this was aimed more at his advisors, the barons, because they were the ones in charge. King Richard II told the people he would do what they wanted if they stopped revolting (Peasants). Many people went home feeling they finally had all the rights they always wanted. They believed the revolt has been a success. Which it had in some ways, but not in others. The peasants thought they were successful with the revolt, which is both true and untrue. King Richard II met the rebels who were still in London to tell them what he planned to do. The only promise King Richard II kept was getting rid of the poll tax (Newman). The peasants liked this because now they didn’t have to worry about paying the extra money. However, the peasants disagreed with his not keeping his other promises. They thought this was not right for a king to make promises and then say “they were made under threat and were therefore not valid in law” (Trueman). After Richard II told the people this, main leaders of the revolt, such as Wat Tyler, were killed (Bovey). The barons were scared of them starting another rebellion, and wanted to the peasants to not start another rebellion, because they could be killed if they did. Even though the revolt appeared to not be a success, the peasants benefited from the rebellion for a long time. The lords and government saw the power the peasants held and treated them with much more respect (Peasants). The lords also had to give the peasants more money and freedoms. The lords needed to get a harvest every year, and the peasants were the only ones capable to getting the harvest in. Whenever the peasants asked for more money or freedoms, the lords gave it to them (Trueman). If the lords didn’t give the peasants more money for their extra work, they would stop working for them. Even if the peasants were forced to work for their lord, they would not work as hard. The lord would have a smaller crop to sell and keep for themselves. Causing lords to lose some or all of their status and land.  The peasants did benefit from the revolt, but not directly. The peasants were successful with the revolt, but the successes did not directly come from the revolt. They came from people treating the peasants with more respect, the respect they deserved. The revolt showed the power the peasants held. If they lords refused to give the peasants the money, they could rebel again. This would not be good for the lord or the government. When they rebelled everyone saw no one would be able to survive without them, therefore they needed to get rid of the taxes, and give them the necessities they demanded.