King John was unprepared for rebellion in the summer of 1212. The success of his campaigns in the last three years in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland had suppressed actual or potential opposition at home, and there was nothing to connect the plot of 1212 with any earlier baronial resistance to the King. John's ignorance of baronial plans up to 16 August suggests that there was very little to arouse his sensitive suspicion earlier, and, indeed, the details of the plot could scarcely have been decided before July when John changed his plans to an expedition against the Welsh. There is perhaps no greater tribute to John's ability as a politician and administrator than the energy and skill with which he faced the situation. Throughout the winter months he made rapid preparations for the impending civil war. In addition to military measures the King was trying to adjust the political balance in the north in his own favour. During 1214 and the early months of 1215 John was working hard to retain the loyalty of those who were still probably wavering between him and his opponents.
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