Revolts against English monarchs, varying in scope and intensity, marked every reign from 1100 to 1272. After that, if we consider what happened to Edward II and Richard II, and the Wars of the Roses and the troubles of the first Tudor, we see pattern emerging in the shape of constitutional change induced through revolt. Even in the context of that centuries-long pattern, there was something special in the revolt of 1173-4, when three sons of Henry II united with an array of anti Plantagenet barons and continental neighbors to try to unseat the powerful king of England, who also held Normandy, Maine, Anjou, and the feudal conglomeration that comprised Aquitaine.
For reasons that I shall attempt to develop, the complex events of those two years constituted a watershed for mediaeval England, separating an age of feudal institutions from an age of royal bureaucracy that bore hints and suggestions of the modern era. The generational gap between sons and father added drama to the conflict, and psychological forces were inextricably bound to political forces as the revolt developed.