There were many political, economical and social reasons for these revolts, which happened one chasing the other. Europe had been suffering from the three orders of society, ruling class, clergy and common people, for a long time. In some regions and states, it was the ruling class that harassed the poor and in some other regions, it was the clergy. Actually, the religious superstitions were such, that clergy, abbots, papacy got away with unspeakable crimes. The political size and management of states, economic upheavals were the other newly introduced issues.
"Since the early fourteenth century new elements had come into play. The growth in the size of states and the increasing number of wars had raised the financial requirements of governments and made the state of inequality, already observable in the thirteenth century, harder to bear," Mollatt and Wolff (p.107).
The reasons and problems had accumulated for decades, and while looking at them from this distance, it is surprising that the church leaders and kings failed to recognise them. Unrest was clearly in the air and unfortunately, no steps were taken by either the ruling class, or the religious leaders and every time, the situation was mishandled and reached the inevitable gory end.
In the beginning of 14th century Europe came to a grinding halt, due ...
In the beginning of 14th century Europe came to a grinding halt, due to popular revolts. It was the time when a series of revolts combined with unfortunate epidemics like Black Death (1348), Great Famine (1315 - 1317) hit Europe with unbelievable mayhem. According to climatologists, it might have occurred because of Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, and the overpopulation of around a 100 million in Europe. At least half of the population was wiped out in these catastrophes, while the remaining half was terribly troubled by a series of popular revolts. Those were violent and unfortunate times.
There was severe unhappiness in the continent combined with continuous wars and skirmishes, social unrest, class struggle, economic depression, and to top it all, religious bigotry. France and England got involved in the most tortuous Hundred Years' War and the Great Schism ruined the arguable unity existed till them in the Catholic Church. German States with diverse identities cropped up and this undermined the Holy Roman Empire, which lost its importance and authority.
Those were unhappy and difficult times, crying in need of social reforms and political insight, without being provided. Popular revolts were by peasants in the countryside and by bourgeois in the towns, but the victims were the same, abbots, nobility and kings and chieftains.
"The Middle Ages by themselves harshly tested human perseverance, imagination, and spirit. Living conditions were squalid for almost everyone except the ruling elite; most of the riches of Western culture were preserved at best in monasteries and on other continents. Then came the widespread famines, prolonged wars, and plagues that mark Europe's late medieval period as one