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 the Byzantine Empire .

    B. 1543, the Ottoman Empire took Constantinople, the capital city

    of the Byzantine Empire and its last major stronghold.

    ; Many scholars fled Byzantium to Western Europe to

    escape Turkish rule.

    C. The Ottoman Empire spread northeastward into Europe taking

    control of the Balkans and eventually threatening the central

    European regions of Hungary and Austria.

    V. Nationalist literature of the later Middle Ages

     A. Rise in the use of the vernacular (national languages)

    B. Dante Alighieri(1265-1321), the divine Comedy (1321) (also

    considered an early Renaissance figure)

    C. Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400) Canterbury Tales portrayed

    English life

    D. Francois Villon (1431-1463): Grand Testament (1461) -

    greatest poet of medieval France

    ; Portrayed ordinary French life with humor and emotion.

    VI. Life in later Middle Ages

    A. Marriage: avg. age for men=mid-20‘s; women=16-18

    1. Divorce was unheard of in Catholic countries

    2. Economic reasons were most important for ththmarriage(love not paramount until 18-19


    3. Prostitution existed in cities (customers were often

    young middle class men who didn‘t marry until


B. Work:

    1. Agricultural cycles and church ritual closely linked

    2. Small % of men were artisans in towns; protected by


    3. Serfdom reduced in many areas

    C. Recreation

    1. Aristocracy- jousting tournaments

    2. common people- archery, wrestling, bull-baiting, bear-

    baiting; alcoholism rampant

    D. Laity increasingly managed parish lands

    VI . Scholasticism: Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274)

    A. Scholasticism: became the cornerstone of late-medieval philosophy B. Aquinas attempted to reconcile faith and reason by using logic to

    support Christian doctrine

    ; Sought to reconcile Aristotle‘s scientific ideas with


    C. Scholasticism dominated Catholic philosophy for centuries.

    th; Challenged severely by Renaissance humanists in the 14, thth15 and 16 centuries


I. Background

    A. The Renaissance is considered the beginning of Modern European


    B. Renaissance (c. 1300-1600) th1. Occurred first in Italy around 1300 and lasted until the mid-16


    2. Renaissance spread to Northern Europe around 1450 th3. In England, the Renaissance did not begin until the 16 century thand lasted until the early 17 century (Shakespeare) thC. Origins of the Renaissance: 19 century historian Jacob Burckhardt

    claimed the Renaissance period was in distinct contrast to the Middle


    D. Renaissance culture applied almost exclusively to the upper classes.

    1. Upper classes had the luxury of time to spend learning the classics.

    2. Peasantry was largely illiterate and Renaissance ideas had little

    impact on common people.

    3. Working classes and small merchants were far too preoccupied

    with the concerns of daily life

II. Rise of the Italian City-States

    A. Northern Italian cities developed international trade: Genoa, Venice, and


    1. signori (despots) or oligarchies (rule of merchant aristocracies)

    controlled much of Italy by 1300

    2. commenda: Contract between merchant and ―merchant-

    adventurer‖ who agreed to take goods to distant locations and

    return with the proceeds (for 1/3 of the profits)

    3. As a result, Italy became more urban: more towns and cities with

    significant populations than anywhere else in Europe at this time.

    B. Politics among the Italian City-States

    1. Competition among city-states meant that Italy did not unify


    a. In effect, an early balance-of-power pattern emerged where

    weaker states would ally with other states to prevent a single

    state from dominating the peninsula

    b. The political disunity of the Italian city-states led to their ththdownfall. In the late-15 and early 16 centuries when

    French and Spanish armies invaded Italy.

    2. Condottieri: Mercenary generals of private armies hired by cities

    for military purposes (a.k.a. Shadow Forces or Swords-for-Hire)

    C. Major city-states and figures

    1. Republic of Florence (Included Republic of Genoa) ththa. Center of the Renaissance during the 14 and 15 centuries

    b. Dominated by the Medici family

    c. Cosimo De’Medici (1389-1464): allied with other powerful

    families of Florence and became unofficial ruler of the


    d. Lorenzo De’Medici (the Magnificent‖) (1449-1492):

    lavish patron of the arts (son of Cosimo)

    2. Duchy of Milan ruled by the Sforza family (Caterina Sforza

    (1463-1509), great art patron)

    3. Rome, the Papal States papacy (―Renaissance popes‖); popes

    served as religious and political leaders; controlled much of central


    4. Venice, Venetian Republic

    a. Longest lasting of the Italian states (did not succumb to

    foreign powers until Napoleon conquered in the early 1800s)

    b. Greatest maritime power in Italy and one of the world‘s ththgreatest naval and trading powers during the 14 and 15


    5. Naples, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

    a. Included south Italian region of Naples and the Island of


    b. Only Italian city-state to officially have a ―King‖

    c. Controlled by France between 1266-1435

    d. Controlled by Spain after 1435

    D. Decline of the Italian City-States

    1. French invasions began in 1494 (―First Italian War‖)

    a. Milan‘s despot, Ludovico ―the Moor‖, encouraged French

    King Charles VIII to invade Naples, the traditional enemy

    of Milan.

    b. This was the beginning of foreign invasions throughout the

    Italian peninsula.

    2. Florence

    a. When Florence attempted to appease France during its

    invasion in 1494, it led to the overthrow of the Medici


    ; Although the Medici Family returned to power

    several years later, Florence was severely

    weakened by then.

    b. Girolamo Savonarola became the unofficial leader of

    Florence between 1494 and 1498.

    ; Pledged to rid Florence of its decadence and


    ; In effect, oversaw a theocracy in Florence

    ; He had earlier predicted the French invasions due

    to paganism and moral decay in the Italian City-

    States; became a puppet of the French

    ; When France was removed from Italy in 1498,

    Savonarola was imprisoned and then burned at the


    3. Italy became a battle ground in a series of power struggles between

    Spain and France.

    ; Spanish fears of a French Italian alliance resulted in

    Spain alliance with Venice, the Papal States and the

    Holy Roman Empire

    4. Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) The Prince (1513) th A. The quintessential political treatise of the 16 century

     B. Observed the political leadership of Cesare Borgia (son of Pope Alexander VI) who had ambitions of uniting Italy under his control

     C. Stated that politically, ― the ends justifies the means‖

     D. Stated that for rulers, ― it was better to be feared than to be


     E. Rulers had to be practical and cunning, in addition to being aggressive and ruthless

     1. At times rulers should behave like a lion (aggressive and powerful) and at other times like a fox (cunning and practical)

     F. The Prince continued to influence European rulers for centuries 5. Sack of Rome in 1527 by armies of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V

    (who was also king of Spain) symbolized the end of the renaissance in Italy.

III Humanism

    A. Characteristics

     1. Revival of antiquity( Greece and Rome) in philosophy, literature

    and art.

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