The administration of France was temporarily transferred to the eldest son of John II of the Good Dauphin Karl. He decided to introduce new taxes to arm the army and redeem King John II of Good from captivity. However, the General States did not approve of this decision, and in 1358 Paris embraced the flames of the uprising. The disgruntled was led by the merchant sergeant-major, the first-in-command of Paris Etienne Marcel. Meanwhile in the north of France the peasants revolted. Among the main causes of the uprising economic devastation, an increase in feudal rents and taxes, an epidemic of plague that claimed from a third to half of the country’s inhabitants. The peasants were also persecuted by constant attacks and looting, both on the part of the British and on the part of the hired French army.
XIV century. From the “Chronicle” of Jean de Venette on the plight of the French peasantry on the eve of Jacquerie
In this year 1358, many unfortified settlements
turned their churches into real castles, dug them with moats, setting up on the towers and belfries military machines, stone and ballistics to defend themselves from the brigans. .. Vineyards were not cultivated, the fields were not sown and plowed, bulls and sheep did not go to pastures; churches and houses everywhere had traces of fires or were a heap of ruins. The bells did not call for the service of God, but they only sounded the alarm, giving the news of the approaching enemy. Desperate misery prevailed everywhere…
Although the number of surviving cattle was scanty, the seniors still demanded payment for each head: 10 solidities per bull, 4-5 per ram. Nevertheless, they rarely defended their vassals from enemy attacks…
At the end of May, 1358, a band of mercenaries attacked a village in the province of Bovesi. The peasants rebuffed the robbers and killed several knights. After that, they attacked the castle of a local feudal lord who did not protect them from the mercenaries, and burned it. This was the signal for an uprising that quickly swept a large territory in the north of France.
In history, the insurrection came under the name of Jacquerie,
The peasants destroyed the castles, burned the taxation lists, killed the feudal lords and their families. The total number of rebels reached 100 thousand people. The movement of the peasants was led by Guillaume Cal. The rebels believed that the king did not know about their troubles and sympathizes with them. On the flags of the “jak” was depicted the royal coat of arms – a white lily.
In June 1358 the insurgents met with the troops of the King of Navarre, Charles Zlogo, who offered them a truce. Believing the knightly word, Guillaume Cal came to the negotiations, where he was insidiously captured and executed. After this, the knights and mercenaries suddenly attacked the peasants and destroyed them. Thus, the flame of Jacqueria was extinguished.