What Happened after the Black Death?


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Lesson Snapshot

In 1348 the Black Death killed almost 50% of the people who lived in England. The peasants who survived soon found that their lords needed workers to look after the crops that were rotting in the fields. Many peasants saw this demand upon their labour as a chance to demand higher wages for the work that they did. The Black Death actually seemed to make life better for ordinary families in Medieval England.

For the lords life was about to get worse. Before the Black Death they had wealth, land, power and great influence. The Black Death was a great shock to them. There were no longer enough peasants to work on the land. The lords had to listen to peasant demands for wages, or face losing their crops. Some peasants even demanded the freedom to work for other people.

By 1351 the English government had had enough. It said that peasants should know their position in the country. It introduced a law called the Statute of Labourers. This said that peasants should not be paid any more than they were paid before the Black Death.

Learning Objectives:

  • You will understand what happened to people in England after the Black Death.
  • You will develop an appreciation of how the Black Death altered the social hierarchy in England.

Lesson Plan:

  • Aimed at Students studying across UK Year 7,8 & 9 or equivalent
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  • Complete lesson plan on what happened after the Black death.