Lead: In 1381 England was the scene of the largest peasant uprising in Europe during the Middle Ages.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: For three decades prior to 1380 Europe was decimated by the Black Death. Perhaps third of the population simply disappeared. One of the results of this plague was a reduction in the number of laborers available for work. Suddenly, peasants found themselves able to sell their services at a much higher rate.

Landowners and merchants resisted this wage inflation with every weapon at their disposal. They failed miserably. The price for labor climbed higher and higher. And the better off the peasants became, the higher were their expectations. Soon they were demanding social changes the upper classes were not willing to give. All that was needed was a spark to set off an explosion. It came in 1380.