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HIST 2200_lecture1.docx

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University of Guelph
HIST 2200
Susannah Ferreira

HIST 2200: Lecture 1 Sept 10, 2013  Edward Gibbon o The classical period had been the pinnacle of civilization o Middle period  Superstition, ignorance, simplicity o Church dragged society down according to him  Christendom  Cannon law upheld by ecclesiastical courts  Military arm of the church  Fiscal admin  Legal admin  Political admin  Had its own taxation  Owned its own lands  Shaped the cultural life of Europeans in all aspects ( culture, art, etc.)  The clergy were really the only ones who were literate, so they could tell everyone what they wanted, only one with access to information o The middle ages were backward o Led to the re-establishment of knowledge  Charles Homer Haskins: o 12 century wasn’t all that bad, not a dark age Early Middle Ages ( 5 to 9 centuries) th th High Middle Ages (9 to 14 century)  Population growth Late Middle Ages ( until the 16 century)  Black death  War - Factors the lead to the political rise and decline of the Christian Church - The development of crusading ideologies - some of the defining social structures of Europe in this time and - the factors that contributed to the so-called crisis of the late middle ages The “Fall” of Rome; How and why it happened: 1. Weakness of the Late Roman Empire:  What brought this place down? o Many of the problems of roman civilization can be attributed to its huge and fast expansion o rapid expansion made it one of the great civilizations ever but also brought it down  Reasons for its collapse: o SIZE:  North western Europe under-developed  Administration of lands off the Mediterranean expensive o ECONOMY:  Bullion shortage (no balance of trade)  Little money coming in, but lots going out  Debasement of coinage was caused by bullion shortage  Decreasing the value, inflation  Extreme rise in the cost of living  Little technological innovation in agriculture  Had slaves so they did not feel the need to change their technology or make their tools better because they weren’t the ones doing the work  Wasn’t easy, lots of work involved in farm work  Demographic fall (poor nutrition)  Fewer people to tax, less money coming in  More poor people less rich  90% of people very poor, debasement of coinage resulted in those being poor being even less able to buy things they needed
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