H3H03 MEDIEVAL ENGLAND 1066-1399 TUTORIAL TOPICS
08 ECONOMIC DECLINE & SOCIAL CHANGE.
a) What kinds of contemporary sources are available for the study of
the economy in the later middle ages ? What problems exist in
b) What evidence is there that the population rose between the
twelfth and the thirteenth centuries ? What effect did this rise
have on the urban and rural economies ? How were they related ?
c) Are we justified in speaking of an economic crisis in the mid
C14th ? What were the characteristics of this crisis ?
d) How did the nobility and the gentry adapt to the changed economic
circumstances of the later C14th ? What changes did they make in
the management of their estates ? How did the crisis affect their
political affiliations ? Is it possible to speak of a crisis of
the nobility in the later middle ages ? If so, how did this
crisis manifest itself ?
e) How did the peasantry react to the crisis ? How significant was
the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 ? Was it anything more than a
spontaneous outburst of discontent ? What sections of the
peasantry took part in the Revolt ? What were their objectives ?
Is it possible to speak of the C15th as the 'Golden Age' of the
English peasant ? If so, why ?
f) How did the towns react to the crisis ? In what ways did the
crisis affect traditional patterns of trade and distribution ?
g) What effect did the economic crisis have on the Crown ? What
steps did the government take to overcome its difficulties ? How
successful were its policies ? What were the principal objectives
of the Statute of Labourers, and the Cambridge Ordinances ?
h) Are we justified in stating that the economic crisis of the C14th
destroyed the last vestiges of feudalism ? How did the
relationship between manor and village change in the C15th ?
Using the relevant volume of ENGLISH HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS find, read
and annotate the following documents:
a) Knighton on the Black Death 1348
b) The Statute of Labourers 1351
c) The Poll Tax 1380 and the Peasants' Revolt 1381
d) The leasing of the demesne on the Berkeley estates
e) The evils of enclosures 1460
f) Fortescue on royal finances 1471-6