English Peasant - Essay Example

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The situation for peasants here in France has been quite bad for a very long time. However, the situation that exists right now is intolerable and I do not know how much longer we can…
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English Peasant
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Section/# Letter to the Bishop To his holiness Bishop Rene Autrimont: I am writing this letter to you to begfor your assistance in speaking with the land owners. The situation for peasants here in France has been quite bad for a very long time. However, the situation that exists right now is intolerable and I do not know how much longer we can survive it unless changes are made. Firstly, there is the issue of sanitation and water. Unlike the nobles, our only source for water is local streams and reservoirs; as we do not have a well to drink from. Because our water comes from open sources, it is corrupted by animals, humans, and all manner of things. Several of our small commune have recently died as a result of this corruption. Without a good clean source of water, we are slowly being poisoned to death with the water that we must drink, wash with, and clean.1
Another problem that we are facing has to do with our food. Although it is the peasants that are responsible for toiling endlessly in the soil and making sure that the nobles receive their harvests, the amount of food that we are allowed to keep has been decreasing each and every year it seems. Although I do not say that this is the result of greed, it makes it impossible for us to live and raise our children on ever decreasing rations that are afforded to us.2 And then in addition to all of this, there is the issue of tax.
Because the nobles have recently increased the taxes that we must pay, the amount of resources that we have to draw upon is even further reduced. We find ourselves struggling each and every day to survive to the next. This is not how God would want us to live. This is not right. We face innumerable hardships and it seems as if our suffering goes unanswered. Another issue that I am hesitant to discuss is the issue of repression. Because we have faced such horrible times recently, the nobles have become increasingly fearful that an armed insurrection may take place and could oust them from power over us.3 I have no thus far heard of any such plans within our midst; however, the insecurity of the nobles is creating rumors where none before existed.4 This is dangerous for both of us as it makes the nobles further paranoid and distrustful and it encourages the young men within our community to consider what an insurrection might be able to do for their plight in life.
Because of these hardships and the inability to continue living and thriving under these circumstances, I have turned to you Bishop Autrimont; in the hopes that the Almighty might provide you with the ability to aid us in our hardship. We sincerely wish to better ourselves as human beings; however, in the current situation it appears as if the only satisfaction that the nobles can be troubled to have from us is one in which we are taxed, starved, and diseased to the point that we are no longer able to live as human beings.
Arnold, Benjamin. 2004. Power and Property in Medieval Germany: Economic and Social Change c.900-1300. n.p.: Oxford University Press, 2004. Oxford Scholarship Online, EBSCOhost (accessed April 16, 2014).
Davies, Wendy. 2007. "Lordship and Community: Northern Spain on the Eve of the Year 1000." Past & Present 19-33. SocINDEX with Full Text, EBSCOhost (accessed April 16, 2014).
Pascucci, Margherita. 2006. Ancient Thought. n.p.: Sage Publications, Inc, 2006. Gale Virtual Reference Library, EBSCOhost(accessed April 16, 2014).
Perez, M. 2011. "THE CONTROL OVER THE SACRED AS AN INSTRUMENT OF POWER: PROPRIETARY CHURCHES AND LEONESE ARISTOCRACY IN THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES." Anuario De Estudios Medievales 42, no. 2: 799-822. Arts & Humanities Citation Index, EBSCOhost (accessed April 16, 2014). Read More
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