German Peasants' War
The German Peasants' War (1524-1525) was a conflict between the lower class of the Germanic region of the Holy Roman Empire and the nobility over the feudal system of serfdom, religious freedom, and economic disparity. It was later characterized...
The Peasants' Revolt, also known as the Great Revolt, was a largely unsuccessful popular uprising in England in June 1381. The rebellion's leaders included Wat Tyler and they wanted massive social changes which included a removal of the poll...
Thomas Müntzer (l. c. 1489-1525) was a German theologian and apocalyptic preacher who became one of the leaders of the German Peasants' War (1524-1525). An early follower of the reformer Martin Luther (l. 1483-1546), Müntzer established his...
The Twelve Articles (1525) is a document written between 27 February and 1 March 1525 addressing grievances of the peasants of the Germanic regions of the Holy Roman Empire against the policies of their lords. The work was written to explain...
The Great Fear (French: la Grande Peur) was a wave of panic that swept the French countryside in late July and early August 1789. Fearful of plots by aristocrats to undermine the budding French Revolution (1789-1799), peasants and townspeople...
The Knight’s Revolt (1522-1523) was a military action led by the German imperial knight Franz von Sickingen (l. 1481-1523) and encouraged by the knight and writer Ulrich von Hutten (l. 1488-1523) launched to restore the status of the imperial...
Medieval Peasants Threshing
A 14th century CE manuscript illustration showing peasants threshing wheat. (Luttrell Psalter, British Library, London)
Richard II & the Peasants' Revolt
A 15th century CE medieval manuscript illustration showing Richard II of England (r. 1377-1399 CE) meeting the rebels of the 1381 CE Peasants' Revolt in London. (National Library of France, Paris)
Medieval serfs (aka villeins) were unfree labourers who worked the land of a landowner (or tenant) in return for physical and legal protection and the right to work a separate piece of land for their own basic needs. Serfs made up 75% of...
Domesday Book was a comprehensive survey and record of all the landowners, property, tenants and serfs of medieval Norman England. It was compiled in 1086-7 under the orders of William the Conqueror (r. 1066-87). The record is unique in European...