The Effect Of The Black Plague On The Economic Situation Of England

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The readings for this class concerned the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, and included documents 60 Wage and Price Regulations, 62 Chronicle Accounts of the Peasants’ Revolt, and 63 Peasants’ Revolt Trials. The documents, with the exception of document 60 which was written in 1349 and 1350, were all written contemporarily with the event. This paper will take approach A, attempting to create a unique thesis for each document individually due to the differing nature of the documents. Document 60 on wage and price regulations contains the Ordinance of Labourers, 1349 and the London Wage and Price Regulations, 1350. Both of these are laws issued by Parliament in order to combat the numerous effects of the Black Plague on the economic situation of…show more content…
Serfdom, is similar in being involuntary labour, but was tied specifically to land holdings. Serfdom, therefore, only affected serfs. Compulsory service, on the other hand, applied to all free men under sixty years of age as well. Besides, neither of these systems were cited as inspirations for compulsory service. The authors of the document specifically mention the dire economic situation as the impetus for their decision. Although, this legislation seems more aimed in fear at the rising of lesser classes than a reasoned response to economic change. A latter section specifically discourages giving alms to beggars upon pain of imprisonment. Previously, free labourers were able to seek employment in other towns or villages if they found some manner of their current work unsuitable. Under compulsory service, attempts to do such a thing were punishable with jail time. Compulsory service did not disappear and was utilised well through the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Wage and price-fixing was not a new concept in England in 1349, but it had never been done on this scale. Generally, both wages and prices had been regulated regionally. This often meant individual villages had rules set differently than one another, depending on circumstance, and the people setting them. With this ordinance in 1349, King Edward III unified the country in a way, bringing every region, regardless of local differences, under one set of rules. Punishment for breaking these rules too became
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