Flemish Uprising of 1323–28

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Flemish Uprising of 1323–28

 

an uprising of peasants and burghers in Flanders; one of the largest and most violent uprisings of the Middle Ages. The uprising represented the class protest of the peasants of maritime Flanders, who enjoyed personal freedom, a privileged form of quitrent, and self-government, against burdensome taxes and the threat to their economic and legal status posed by the feudal lords. It also reflected the struggle of the cities to retain and expand privileges and liberties that were being threatened by the count of Flanders, Louis of Nevers, and his ally, the king of France.

The uprising began in December 1323. A truce concluded in April 1324 was soon broken by the rebels. In the second stage of the uprising, from the end of 1324 to April 1326, the peasants received the direct support of the people of Bruges, who took the count captive, and Ypres. Under the threat of French intervention, the moderate elements concluded a peace treaty in April 1326. The third stage of the uprising, from May 1326 to August 1328, was particularly savage—many castles, monasteries, and churches were destroyed, and thousands of people were killed. The rebels were led by the peasant Jacob Peyt and Segher Janssone. The uprising ended on Aug. 23, 1328, when the French king, responding to an appeal by the count of Flanders, defeated the peasants and burghers at Cassel. The victors exacted cruel reprisals—the leaders of the uprising were executed, and the rebellious cities and peasant districts were stripped of their privileges.

A. N. CHISTOZVONOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.