By Ruth Bennett,2014-08-29 13:35
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    Crisis of the Later Middle Ages:

     Black Death

     A. Causes:

    1. Bubonic Plague was carried by fleas on Asian black rats and

    brought to Europe on ships returning from Asia

    2. Overcrowding in cities and homes facilitated the spread of the


    a. Many aristocratic families slept in one room and many

    prosperous peasant families slept in one bed for warmth;

    less prosperous peasants were even worse off

    3. Poor sanitation in cities: garbage-filled streets, human

    excrement, and dead animals

    4. Widespread malnutrition prior to the plague led to poor health

    (e.g. lower immune systems) that made people more susceptible

    to the disease tha. 25% harvests in the 14 century were poor as torrential

    rains destroyed wheat, oats, and hay crops; some

    instances of cannibalism occurred

    5. Poor hygiene also played a significant role

    a. Many people believed (correctly) that their water was

    contaminated and feared taking baths

    B. Results: Loss of 1/3 of European population (mostly in cities)

    1. In some cities, such as Florence, nearly ? the population died

    2. Economies in towns suffered significantly ( while the

    countryside was less affected by the plague)

    a. The plague accelerated an economic decline that had thbeen in effect since the early 14 century

    3. In some areas workers enjoyed higher wages as the supply of

    workers was depleted

    4. Impact on the Peasantry

    a. Serfdom ended in many areas in western Europe

    b. Peasant revolts in England and France increased (had

    originally been in response to taxation during the

    Hundred Years‘ War)

    5. First enclosure of fields in Britain occurred as landowners

    needed better agricultural production with fewer farm hands;

    largely done for sheep herding

    6. Best of the Clergy died ( staying behind to help the sick) 7. Jews are often blamed for the plague and thus persecuted

    a. Continued the age-old phenomenon of anti-Semitism in


    8. Literature and art reflected pessimism

    a. Dance of Death (Danse Macabre): dancing skeletons

    danced among the living, reminding viewers of the

    prevalence of death

    b. Northern Europe developed a morbid fascination with

    death that was later reflected in the art of the Northern

    Renaissance. th9. Population did not reach pre-plague level until the mid-16


     Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453)

    A. Cause: English Crown lays claim to the Duchy of Aquitaine in France ; French king confiscated that territory form English control ; Boniface VII had a power struggle with Philip the Fair as to

    who was to control France

    B. THE WAR

    1. Most of the war was fought intermittently in France and its Low Countries

    2. By 1415, the major battles had been won by England and Paris itself was now threatened

    ; Aside from loss of territory, France was threatened by the rise

    of a new state in its eastern territory, Burgundy, that allied with


    3. Joan of Arc

    1. French peasant girl claimed she heard voices of saints and

    persuaded the King of France to allow her to be with the


    2. Led the French army to victory at Orléans during crucial stage

    of the war

    3. The French heir to the throne was crowned as a result, and the

    government was thus strengthened

    4. Joan was later captured by the English and burned at the stake

    in 1431.

    C. Results

    1. France permanently removed England from France (except for the

    tiny nation of Calais)

    2. The struggles of the war began the modernization of state buildings

    in France and England (―New Monarchs‖)

    3. Peasant Revolts

    a. Causes: taxation during Hundred Years‘ War, desire for higher wages, hostility toward aristocracy, and higher expectations among peasantry.

    ; Revolts increased in frequency after the black death

     b. English Peasant Revolt (1381):

    ; Largest revolt, many as 100,000 involved thth c. Jacquerie in France (late 14-early 15 c.)

    ; Peasants not as successful as English in gaining some


    d. Results:

    ; revolts crushed

    ; end of serfdom in England c. 1550

    Crisis in the Catholic Church

    A. Background

    1. Western and Central European society was dominated by the

    Catholic Church since the fall of the Roman Empire

    a. Religious authorities in many regions were more powerful

    than secular authorities

    b. Popes, at times, were the most powerful political figures in

    all of Europe

    c. The Middle Ages were characterized by religious unity

    under the Catholic Church

    d. Meanwhile, the Greek Orthodox Church (Eastern Orthodox

    Church) was dominant in the Byzantine Empire in the

    modern-day Balkans and parts of Eastern Europe, including


    e. There was little cooperation between the Catholic and

    Orthodox Churches

    B. Early Critics of the Church

    1. Marsiglio de Padua: Defender of Peace

    a. Claimed the church should be subordinate to the state

    b. Believed the church should be subordinate to the state 2. John Wyclif (c. 1330-1415)

    a. Believed the church should only follow Scripture--This view thforeshadowed Martin Luther‘s reformation in the early 16


    b. Wrote an English translation of The Holy Bible

    c. His later followers were called Lollards

    3. John Hus (c. 1369-1415): ideas very similar to Wyclif

    a. Led a nationalist movement in Bohemia (modern-day Chez


    ; Captured by authorities and burned at the stake for his

    heretical and political views

    b. Hussites: followers of Hus, staged large rebellions in the th14 century

    C. Babylonian Captivity (1309-1377)

    1. 1305, a struggle between the Pope and the French King led to the

    election of a French Pope who set up his leadership in Avignon,


    2. 7 successive Popes resided at Avignon, France

    3. This situation damaged papal prestige (esp. in unduly influenced

    by French Kings

    4. Rome‘s economy, meanwhile, was damaged significantly

    D. Great Schism (c.1377-1417)

    1. Further conflict occurred in 1377 with election of two Popes- One

    in Rome and One in France- neither of whom recognized the other. 2. Further hurt prestige of the church

     E. Conciliar Movement (1409-1418) Ended the great schism

    1. Sought to reform the Church by creating a council of cardinals that would

    e more powerful than the pope b

    2. Failed as a movement; the newly elected Pope Martin ensured that papal power still remained supreme

IV Fall of the Byzantine Empire

    A. The Byzantine Empire had been the dominant power in the

    southeastern Europe for nearly a thousand years

    1. It began as the Eastern Roman Empire and lasted long

    after the Roman Empire had disappeared.

    2. The Greek Orthodox Church (Eastern Orthodox Church)

    was dominant in t