Jacquerie

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Jacquerie (zhäk´ərē´) [Fr.,=collection of Jacques, which is, like Jacques Bonhomme, a nickname for the French peasant], 1358, revolt of the French peasantry. The uprising was in part a reaction to widespread poverty during the Hundred Years War. Peasants revolted against the écorcheurs (mercenaries who fought in the war), who pillaged their land, and the nobles, who made extortionate demands but did not protect them. Beginning around Beauvais, north of Paris, the revolt spread over a wide area; castles were demolished, provisions stolen, and other violent acts committed. The leader, Guillaume Karle (or Cale), was captured and beheaded by Charles II of Navarre, and the mob was easily dispersed. The nobles took revenge by massacring thousands of the insurgents.

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jacquerie a communal uprising or revolt, especially the revolt of the peasants of northern France against the nobles in 1357–8; the term is recorded from the early 16th century, and comes from Old French, literally ‘villeins’, from Jacques, a given name formerly used to mean ‘peasant’ in France.