Lust for Liberty: The Politics of Social Revolt in Medieval Europe, 1200-1425

Lust for Liberty: The Politics of Social Revolt in Medieval Europe, 1200-1425

by Samuel K. Cohn Jr.
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674030389

ISBN-13: 9780674030381

Pub. Date: 09/01/2008

Publisher: Harvard

Lust for Liberty challenges long-standing views of popular medieval revolts. Comparing rebellions in northern and southern Europe over two centuries, Samuel Cohn analyzes their causes and forms, their leadership, the role of women, and the suppression or success of these revolts.

Popular revolts were remarkably common--not the last resort of desperate

Overview

Lust for Liberty challenges long-standing views of popular medieval revolts. Comparing rebellions in northern and southern Europe over two centuries, Samuel Cohn analyzes their causes and forms, their leadership, the role of women, and the suppression or success of these revolts.

Popular revolts were remarkably common--not the last resort of desperate people. Leaders were largely workers, artisans, and peasants. Over 90 percent of the uprisings pitted ordinary people against the state and were fought over political rights--regarding citizenship, governmental offices, the barriers of ancient hierarchies--rather than rents, food prices, or working conditions. After the Black Death, the connection of the word "liberty" with revolts increased fivefold, and its meaning became more closely tied with notions of equality instead of privilege.

The book offers a new interpretation of the Black Death and the increase of and change in popular revolt from the mid-1350s to the early fifteenth century. Instead of structural explanations based on economic, demographic, and political models, this book turns to the actors themselves--peasants, artisans, and bourgeois--finding that the plagues wrought a new urgency for social and political change and a new self- and class-confidence in the efficacy of collective action.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674030381
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
09/01/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction     1
Peasant Revolts     25
Economic Revolts     53
Varieties of Revolt     76
Leaders     108
Women, Ideology, and Repression     130
Communication and Alliances     157
Flags and Words     177
The Black Death and Change over Time     205
A New Appetite for Liberty     228
Notes     245
Sources     329
Index     359

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