Week 2: Chapter 9: The Late Middle Ages

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The late middle ages: social and political breakdown. The late middle ages saw almost unprecedented political, social, and ecclesiastical1 distress. War, plague, and schism2 were three great misfortunes of the fourteenth and fteenth centuries. Bubonic plague struck fourteenth-century europe when it was already suffering from overpopulation and malnutrition. New technology increased food supply and in turn the european population doubled from 1000-1300. Now there were more people than there were jobs or food. Crop failures between 1315 and 1317 produced the greatest famine of the middle ages. Europe"s population was highly vulnerable when a virulent bubonic plague struck full force in 1348. It was called the black death because it discolored the body. It followed trade routes from asia into europe. The eas that from the rats most likely brought it to western europe. Areas that lay outside the major trade routes appear to have remained unaffected. There was no apparent explanation and no known defense.

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