Two kinds of freedom: language and practice in late medieval rural revolts

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Abstract

This article looks at the role of freedom as a motivation for rural rebellion in northern Europe from c. 1200-1450. It focuses comparatively on the English Rising of 1381 and revolts in France with some further comparison to other regions. While discourses of freedom were important in 1381 both in the chronicle texts and to the rebels themselves, most rebels did not articulate their demands in terms of liberty. The last section demonstrates that although demands for freedom were rare in revolts, the social networks through which uprisings were organized show that rural communal practices constituted a kind freedom, enabling peasants to engage in socio-political action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-152
Number of pages40
JournalEdad Media. Revista de historia
Volume21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • English Rising (Peasants’ Revolt)
  • Jacquerie
  • Equality
  • Liberty
  • Serfdom

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