Династия Плантагенетов в истории Англии — страница 7

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throne of France (through his mother Isabella, who was the sister of the king; the Capetiance failed to produce a mail heir) led to the outbreak of War. “The sea battle of Sluys (1340) gave England control of the Channel, and battle at Crecy (1346), Calais (1347), and Poitiers (1356) demonstrated English supremacy on the land. Edward, the Black Prince and eldest son of Edward III, excelled during this first phase of the war.”(24) Throughout 1348-1350 the epidemic of a plague so called “The Black Death” swept across England and northern Europe, removing as much as half the population. This plague reached every part of England. Few than one of ten who caught the plague could survive it. If in Europe 1/3 of population died within a century , in England 1/3 of population died

during two years. The whole villages disappeared. This plague continued till it died out itself. English military strength weakened considerably after the plague, gradually lost so much ground that by 1375, Edward agreed to the Treaty of Bruges, which only left England Calais, Bordeaux, and Bayonne. Domestically, England saw many changes during Edward’s reign. Parliament was divided into two Houses – Lords and Commons – and met regularly to finance the war. Treason was defined by statute for the first time (1352). In 1361 the office of Justice of the Peace was created. Philippa died in 1369 and the last years of Edward’s reign mirrored the first; he was once again dominated by a woman, his mistress, Alice Perrers. Alice preferred one of Edward’s other sons, John of

Gaunt, over the Black Prince, which caused political conflict in Edward’s last years. Edward the Black Prince died one year before his father. Rafael Holinshed intimated that Edward spent his last year in grief and remorse, believing the death of his son was a punishment for usurping his father’s crown. In Chronicles of England, Holinshed wrote: “But finally the thing that most grieved him, was the loss of that most noble gentleman, his dear son Prince Edward…. But this and other mishaps that chanced to him now in his old years, might seem to come to pass for a revenge of his disobedience showed to his in usurping against him….” (25) There is one more point about Edward’s reign, concerning the English language. Edward had forbidden speaking French in his army, and

by the end of the 14th century English once again began being used instead of French by ruling literate class. Richard II (1377-99) Richard II’s reign was fraught with crisis – economic , social, political, and constitutional. He was 10 years old when his grandfather died, and the first problem the country faced was having to deal with his monitoring. A “constitutional council” was set up to “govern the king and his kingdom”. Although John of Gaunt was still the dominant figure in the royal family, neither he no his brothers were included. The peasant’s revolt. “(1381) Financing the increasingly expensive and unsuccessful war with France was a major preoccupation. At the end of Edward III’s reign a new device, a poll tax of four pence a head, had been

introduced. A similar but graduated tax followed in 1379, and in 1380 another set at one shilling a head was granted. It proved inequitable and impractical, and when the government tried to speed up collection in the spring of 1381 a popular rebellion – the Peasants’ Revolt – ensued. Although the pool tax was the spark that set it off, there were also deeper causes related to changes in the economy and to political developments.”(26) The government in practical, engendered hostility to the legal system by its policies of expanding the power of the justices of the peace at the expense of local and monorail courts. In addition, popular poor preachers spread subversive ideas with slogans such as : “When Adam delved and Eve span/ Who was then the gentleman?” (27) The

Peasants’ revolt began in Essex and Kent. Widespread outbreaks occurred the southeast of England, taking the form of assault on tax collectors, attacks on landlords and their manor houses, destruction of documentary evidence of villein status, and attacks on lawyers. Attacks on religious houses, such as that at St. Albans, were particularly severe, perhaps because they had been among the most conservative of landlords in commuting labour services. The men of Essex and Kent moved to London to attack the king’s councilors. Admitted to the city by sympathizers, they attacked John of Gaunt’s place of the Savoy as well as the Fleet prison. On June 14 the young king made them various promises at Mile End; on the same day they broke into the Tower and killed Sudbury, the