The Peasants Revolt was a very important event in English history. For the first time peasants had joined together in order to achieve political change. The king and his advisers could no longer afford to ignore their feelings. In 1382 a new tax was voted in by parliament. This time it was decided that only the richer members of society should pay the tax. After the Peasants' Revolt no king ever tried again to impose a poll tax on the people of England.
In the 1380s there was still a shortage of labour in England and wages continued to go up. The king and his parliament passed several laws in an attempt to control wage levels. These attempts were unsuccessful and in 1390 parliament decided to abandon this policy. The people who had been granted charters by the king at Mile End were angry when the lords of the manor continued to insist on labour service and other feudal duties. A large number of serfs ran away in search of the higher wages being paid in towns. The lords of the manor made vigorous attempts to arrest and punish these serfs but the majority managed to avoid capture.
In some villages serfs joined together and refused to do their labour service. In other villages, resentful serfs worked very slowly or did not do the work properly. Some lords of the manor began to realise that labour service was not very efficient. Many of them allowed their serfs to buy their freedom. The amount paid by serfs varied from village to village but the manor court records suggest that the average amount was about 30 shillings per person. Instead of providing labour service, these peasant farmers paid rent for their land. By 1500 there were very few serfs left in England.
Copy the following into your books. Select the right words to fill in the gaps.
In 1382 _______ decided to impose a new _______ on the English people. This time only the richer people had to ______ the tax.
After the Peasants' Revolt there was still a shortage of ______ in England. Large landowners were unhappy when the level of ______ continued to increase. King _______ and his parliament passed several _______ that tried to stop peasants asking for _______ wages. These laws were unsuccessful and in 1390 parliament decided to abandon the idea of trying to ______ wages.
Some lords of the ______ insisted that their _______ continued to carry out their ______ services. Those serfs who had been granted ______ by the king at Mile End were very angry about this. In some villages serfs joined together and ______ to do labour _______ . In other villages serfs worked very _______ . There were some peasants who were unwilling to be treated as serfs and they _____ away to ______ where they could earn better wages.
After the Peasants' Revolt it was much more difficult to control the behaviour of serfs. Many lords decided to let their serfs buy their _______ . By 1500 there were very _______ serfs left in England.