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Lecture September 11, 2012.docx

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Mairi Cowan

Tuesday September 11, 2012- Introduction to European History 1300-1815 1300 Geography: - Difficult to get to Asia from Europe. Asia home to commodities Europe wanted - Travel within Europe; there were roads (some of them Roman roads preserved) but travel time on the roads was slow. o Travel by water was faster and more reliable. Most transportation was on waters - Pockets of Europe remained untouched because of the bad land o Some parts of EU were good for mining o Most was used for farming and agriculture - Few regions capable of supporting large cites - 1300 population of EU at greatest height, 75 million people in western EU o Between 1000-1300 population doubled/tripled, has to due largely to change in climate (temperature climbing) o 90% of these people lived in the country side, lived directly off the land o Slowly people moving from the countryside to the city; trend of urbanization o Towns on coasts or water ways  Biggest city in EU was probably Constantinople o Urbanization south of Italy, Spain, up in the northwest south of England (parts of Netherlands, Belgium) , shift from the medieval period with urbanization in north - Towns were distinct from countryside, characterized by the occupations, majority of people of living off the land o Some towns had walls around them; walls useful to regulate who got to do commerce in that town because you HAD to be a citizen of the town in order to do commerce, if not, you had to pay a high fee o Houses occupied by more than one family - Towns were dangerous places and there was a lot of pollution o Mortality rate was always higher than the birth rate o Had to pass laws to keep everything in order Economics: - Shift in wealth and power - Medieval EU: wealth and power came from land holding; an agricultural society o 3 Changes: Commerical Revolution  Beginning to shift to an economy that relied on commerce and trade through urbanization  Geographical  Human imagination; development of sophisticated procedures related to trade.  Ex. EU shifting from gift economy to profit economy. Throughout medieval period economic exchanges were of gifts, by 1300 people are more interested in making a profit and more interested with a cash profit  People didn’t know each other so well so they couldn’t go on personal bonds, formalized economic exchange, monitory contracts for payment o Notarial contracts  Usury; works on interest. This was a sin in 1300 to engage in usury. Early Christians; one Christian should not benefit from the need or misfortune of the other.  Ways of working around it, buying from one currency and selling it with another  Making this acceptable in certain conditions - Merchants considered suspicious characters; didn’t look like they contributed to society because they had money but didn’t really do anything Society: - Oratores: Those who pray o Priests, monks, nuns o Came up with this social system, they are at the top of it, first estate o Role is they benefit all of society by praying for it, they pray for the society - Bellatores: those who fight o Warrior aristocracies, knightly behaviour, not to work in fields but provide protection o Role is to protect the other two estates - Laboratores: those who work o Everyone else from the poor to the mayor of the city Politics: -
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