Common Peasants Of The Middle Essay Research

Common Peasants Of The Middle Essay, Research Paper

The Common peasants of the Middle Ages had a rough and tedious life, many

peasants were separated from their family among them included: sons, daughters, and

wives as well as many peasants suffered from severe illnesses from disease they could

not treat because they did not have the money nor the status to afford or see a

doctor. Throughout the Middle Ages the peasants lived a rough life. Just the term

“peasants” had the status of meaning to be under all the other classes; These were

the lowest class of people someone could be. The peasants always worked for the

higher class like the King and Queen. That was not the worst part of being a

peasant. They rarely were around their family because usually the family is split up

into different parts. You can’t hardly have a women working the fields or the children

hunting for the meat; that would bring down the production and efficiency. The

Common peasants of the Middle Ages had a very tedious life. Many peasants

suffered diseases and none had the money or the status to afford or see a doctor.

They had little or no reason to live since they were always working for the higher

class and never for themselves.

The peasants had no real power nor authority in any matter. During times of

war they could be called upon to do battle and if they refused, they would be killed.

The peasants were forced to live in small crude huts and they had rough straw mats

to sleep on. Their daily consumed dietary supplement included black bread, eggs,

poultry, and vegetables; though the meat was rarely eaten since they did not have

the money to buy it. They could not live off of the land and hunt the animals because

it was illegal; hunting on the Lords land was a very strict rule and no peasant could

impose on the Lord’s game. The Lords were the overseers of the peasants and

forced them to farm and they used an agricultural system that enabled them to have

a surplus of food. The peasants struggled to survive and to plow and meet the

requirements and the time that jobs needed to be done.

The date September 29th had no significance to anyone; but to the peasants

it was the beginning of the fiscal year. The accounts, leases, and any annual dues to

the peasant’s landlord or another creditor were ordinarily reconciled on this day. In

October, the most important task for the peasants was to work the field which had

been left unplanted the previous year. Then the winter crop could be planted for

harvesting in the next spring. The peasants had to make sure that the field was

broken up and smoothed before the rye and wheat were planted. In long unco-

nnected strips, the typical peasant would have forty acres of land they needed to

crop. For each harvest, ten acres of land would be used for planting. The peasants

had to approximately plow a full to a half acre each day. They were bound to their

plot of land. They worked almost seven days a week and were required to give a

certain number of days each week to work on their lord’s land. A peasant’s life was

generally hard and full of physical labor.

The peasants made up the bulk of the Medieval population. Although the

peasants took all the abuse and hardships of working for the lord; there were a

maximum level of antagonation and the Upper classmen finally went too far as

shown in the Peasant Revolt of 1831. During the years before the Peasants’

Revolt of 1381, relations between the landed gentry and the lower classes of society

were extremely poor. The Black Death of 1349 had so decimated the English

population that the few able-bodied workers available were able to command high

wages from their employers. In response, the upper classes, with the support of the

government enacted a series of measures adverse to the interests of the peasantry.

The aim of much of this legislation was the restoration of wages to their pre-plague

levels. In addition to this legislation, landowners began to enforce their manorial

privileges strictly, making certain that they received their full amount of “villein dues,

and in particular labor obligations” . In effect, as Nigel Saul states in his book

Richard II, “From these cases we can see that lords were using all the powers at

their disposal to strengthen their hold over their tenants. Such practices effected an

overall sense of deep discontent among the populace, heightening traditional

tensions between lord and peasantry.

In conclusion the peasants life was the hardest of any of the classes. They

owned nothing, had nothing, and could not acquire anything permanently. They really

had no value in the items sense, they would not be worth anything. Although they

were very valuable because they were the producers of the agriculture which people

depended on to survive. They were the people who did what was needed because

the higher class did not want to do it themselves. The peasants played an important

role in the Middle Ages for they were the ones that allowed the Kingdom to live and

survive off of the food they were making, the jobs that no one wanted including all of

the cleaning, the job of tending to the livestock, and fighting the war to suspend the

kingdom from falling. Without the peasants the Kingdom would fall apart for their

would be no one to plant, harvest, and no one to fight.


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