What can the Black Death tell us about the global economic consequences of a pandemic?
The dramatic population change wrought by the Black Death also led to an explosion in social mobility. Government attempts to restrict these developments followed and generated tension and resentment.
Meanwhile, England was still at war with France and required large armies for its campaigns overseas. This had to be paid for, and in England led to more taxes on a diminished population. The parliament of a young Richard II came up with the innovative idea of punitive poll taxes in 1377, 1379 and 1380, leading directly to social unrest in the form of the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381.