The Peasants‘ Revolt
Sophie (age 7) and Ellie (age 5) tell the story of the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381.
----more----It is a troubled time for England. The Black Death has devastated Europe. There are not enough people to work the fields. The poor people, who are called the peasants, want more money from the rich people as there are not enough workers. The rich people say no. England is at war with France and is running out of money. The government decide to raise taxes. Instead of just taxing rich people, the government decide to tax everyone – even the poor people. At first the taxes are low. However, they go higher and higher. The peasants cannot afford to pay the taxes. They need to eat too. So many of them stop paying the taxes.
The government send people to collect the money. However, these tax collectors are mean. They are horrible to the peasants. One of them is nasty to the daughter of a man called Wat Tyler. Wat gets angry and kills the tax collector. Then more peasants join Wat Tyler and together they agree to march on London to see the King.
They want to ask the King to lower the taxes. They believe that the King will help because he is only 15 years old and they think that his advisors are making him raise the taxes.
The peasants' army approaches London. The young Kings goes to meet them by boat. However, the King is too scared to come ashore and he cannot hear the peasants. He goes back to London. Now the peasants are angry. They march into London and destroy the buildings of the King’s friends.
The King agrees to meet with the peasants. As he leaves his castle, the Tower of London, the peasants attack the castle and capture it.
The King agrees to help the peasants and he writes them letters saying that he will make things better for them. Many of the peasants are happy and go home.
However, Wat Tyler doesn’t believe the King. He stays and meets the King the next day. Wat Tyler is rude to the King and his friends. One of the King’s friends has had enough and kills Wat Tyler. The Peasant Army is furious that their leader is killed and is about to attack. However, the King goes alone to the peasants and tells them that he is their leader because he is their King. The peasant army calms down.
Meanwhile, the King's friends have returned to London and told the King’s soldiers that the King has been captured by the peasants. The King's army marches out to rescue the King. When they meet the peasants the King tells his army not to attack the peasants.
However, the King is no longer afraid now he has his army. He kills the Peasant leaders. He tears up the letters and tells the peasants, “peasants you are and peasants you will remain”.
It seems as if the Peasants’ Revolt has failed. However, the nobles have been scared by how strong the peasants were. They now start to be much nicer to the peasants.
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