Ghent Uprising of 1539-40

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ghent Uprising of 1539-40


a rebellion provoked by agents of the Spanish king Charles V’s government when they tried forcibly to collect a tax to which Ghent had not given its consent. The underlying causes of the rebellion, however, were the crisis inherent in guild cloth manufacture and the difficult conditions for the toiling masses as the process of primary capital accumulation took place. The seizure of power in the city by the guilds on Aug. 19, 1539, marked the start of open rebellion, and its culmination came between September 2 and November 3, when the urban common people and the poor people of the surrounding region (Creesers) held political control. The uprising also spread to neighboring cities. The rebels executed, arrested, or banished the most hated members of the city oligarchy and confiscated their property. After the patricians and wealthy burghers unsuccessfully attempted a coup, the rebellion began to subside. On Feb. 14, 1540, Charles V entered Ghent with his troops. The participants in the rebellion were subjected to repression. Ghent was obliged to pay reparations and was deprived of its freedoms.


Chistozvonov, A. N. Gentskoe vosstanie 1539-1540 gg. Moscow, 1957.


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