Robert Lopez: The Commerical Revolution of the Middle Ages:
It changed the view on the Middle ages:
- Commercial revolution in middle ages: increases in agriculture,
manufacturing, and trade ; innovations in business organization and finance.
- Severe economic decline in the Late Middle Ages, 14 and 15 centuries due
to varies disasters.
Recently, historians have been revising Lopez’s statements of Late Middle Ages.
They say that it does not constitute a long period of depression but series of ups
and downs. Mideval business would survive them, adapt to them
I. CLIMATIC CHANGE
-beginning in the late 13 C, beginning of the Little Ice age. This colder climate would
last for the next 500 years. Problems were caused during the transation period. In
some years, serious droughts occur, in other years there would be deadly rainfalls.
Floods devasted the lower countries. It became so cold that the entrie Baltic ocean
froze entirely 3 times.
- Growing seasons shortened and bad harvest were more frequent, this
became serious in t he 14 century.
- 1315-1317 The Great Famine( north) occurred : grain prices sky rocketed, led
to famine. So despereate that they were eating their seeds for the next
saeason, and their draft animals. 1.5 million died.
- 1340 another great famine ( north and South):
External as well as internal wars such as revolts, revolutions, etc
Eg. 1337-1453, Hundred Years’ War ( French vs English; over who would control
southwestern France ) Although it was directly involved the french and english, it
also involves other nations. France successed in kicking England out.
- Hampered agriculture and trade: French country side destroyed and urban
centres pillaged ( during war and even peace) during periods of truce, the
royal army didn’t receive payments so the mercenaries went loose that led to
looting and raping. - Royal taxes increased in England and France. Those taxes became
oppressive in cities that had to built. The h