Alexandra Zylka April 2011
Black Death – the most devastating natural disaster in European history in the mid fourteenth
century. Ravaging Europe and causing economic, social, political, and cultural upheaval.
Bubonic plague, the most common and most important form of the Black Death, was spread by
black rats infested with fleas who were host to the deadly bacterium Yersinia pestis. The Black
Death was the first major epidemic disease to strike Europe since the 7 century, an absence
that helps explain medieval Europe’s remarkable population growth. The plague reached
Europe in October 1347, when Genoese merchants brought it from Caffa to the island od Sicily
off the coast of southern Italy. Mortality figures for the Black Death were incredibly high. Italy
was hit especially hard. The European population declined by 25-50 percent between 1347-
1351. The Black Death had spread to northern Europe by the end of 1348.
Jacquerie – Peasant revolt broke out in 1358 in Northern France. The destruction of
normal order by the Black Death and the subsequent economic dislocation were important
factors in causing the revolt, but the ravages created by the Hundred Year’s War also affected
the French peasantry. (the 14 century witnessed a number of revolt)
Hundred Years War – Began in a burst of knightly enthusiasm.
The Great Schism – Began in 1378 and ended in 1417; election of Martin V. After the death of
Gregory XI, the college of Cardinals met in conclave to elect a new pope. The citizens of Rome
were fearful that the French majority will pick another Frenchman. The guards of the conclave
warned the cardinals about the risk if they didn’t choose an Italian. They elected the Italian
archbishop Bari – Pope Urban VI (1378-1389) Pope Urban VI made it clear his plans to reform
the papal curia and even to swamp the college of cardinals with enough new Italian cardinals to
eliminate the French majority. The French cardinals withdrew from Rome, issued a manifesto
saying they had been coerced by the mob and that Urban’s election was therefore null and
void. The dissenting cardinals chose a Frenchman, who took the title Clement VII and promptly
returned to Avignon. Since Urban remained in Rome, there were now two popes.- Initiating
what has been called the Great Schism of the Church.
The Conciliar Movement – The GS led large numbers of churchmen to take up this theory,
known as conciliarism – in the belief that only a general council of the church could end the
schism and bring reform to the church in its “head and members”
Mysticism – the immediate experience of oneness with God
Babylonian Captivity – 1305-1378. Pope (Clement the 5 ) – retreated/went to Avignon (South
of France)Moved all offices of Church. Begins the Babylonian Captivity. 1370s – Preaching of
two female saints – preached before the Pope asked for him to return. Captivity ended, and
then the Pope died shortly after.
o 11 French Cardinals and 4 Italian Cardinals.
Cardinals are locked up to elect Pope (think of Angels and Demons) Italian was elected,wanted to bring spirituality and piety back to the church. French cardinals
protested of the election and elected a French Pope.Took the church back to Avignon.1378 –
Two Popes – One in Rome, one in Avignon.
Scandal – the faithful catholics of Europe didn’t know which one was real.
1494 – First invasion of Italian Peninsula
1453 – Byzantine Empire fell to Turks
Diet of Worms – 1521. Luther continued his revolt – translated the Bible into German, and
with his disciples they worked towards “Lutheranism” effects of the protestant reformation
Peasant Revolt of 1525 - The Peasantry revolted against their landlords (1525) – called to
Luther to come help support them. Luther charged them for revolting against the secular society
and against God himself. (Justly punished by the forces of the secular authority – then they
were slaughtered by thousands) – stain on reputation. Needed authority to spread his religious
method. Chose the forces of establishment, power, princely rule – allowed the peasants to be
slaughtered. Luther didn’t see his revolution as a popular one.
Schmalkaldike League (1531) - Nion in order to protect the Lutheran revolt. Empire of Charles
the 5 was too immense.
Diet of Augsburg (1553) - Compromise reached “the religion of the prince would determine the
religion of all of its subjects”. Lutheran revolt was very much in interest for the German Princes
Half of Germany was officially Protestant. Luthers revolt changed the unity off the Church
Roman Inquisition (1542) – in Rome
Calvinism subscribed to thought control through religion. Roman Churches began to do the
same thing. Individual men and women and their deeds had to be approved, faith had to be
reinforced, and enforced. Index of Forbidden books
First proposed in 1559
Roman catholics were told what they could and could not read (know)
If you had the knowledge of the books, you were just as guilty. List of forbidden books grew
more and more every year (Erasmus, Machiavelli) - any sort of criticism directed towards the
church itself. Printing press allowed protestant thoughts to be widely distributed
The Wars of Religion - Horrific wars that went on for 150 years. Believed the states
responsibility was to enforce their religion throughout the entire state. People of different
religions did not trust each other at all. States had to be unified in their religion. The idea led to
o After Trent, Philip II of Spain was the most powerful King in Europe
Saw himself as a defendant of the Roman Catholic Church
Supported the French Catholics, hostile toward England
o Revolt of the Netherlands Revolt of the Dutch against the Spaniards
Early societies had a hard time defining progress and change
Defined changed in terms of religion reform – go back to a simple religion,
go back to the Bible – this would be their ideological engine towards
Engaged in revolution and necessary to have a justification for revolution
and religion gave a just reason.
Philip’s want to control the wealth and patronage of the Dutch, Dutch
didn’t like this.
Guise vs. Bourbon - War between Catholics and Calvin’s began
o Both houses were closely related to the royal family
Civil War 1562 - Queen (Margot) first supported Catholics, but when they became too powerful,
she switched to the Calvinists and then switched back to Catholics when Calvinists became too
powerful. Queen decided to make sure the protestant power evaporated by slaughtering all of
its leaders. Royal wedding was to take place between a catholic and a protestant
o St. Bartholomew’s day massacre – slaughter, so terrible that it meant there was
no solution except for Civil war
Because he was marrying the king’s sister, Henry of Bourbon (Henry IV) got away. Despite the
terrible event the queen realized she overplayed the catholic card, she again switched to the
Protestants. The Guise house founded the catholic league in order to cinch victory
The Guise did not have the best interests of France, something had to be done when they
started dealing with too much with Spain. Spain was also in a poor place moneywise so they
had to prove military support to the Guise
Nantes (1598) - Act of Statemenship
o Calvinism became legal, France became a country with two religions
Henry’s victory was a result of advice from a knowledgeable group of men
The Thirty Years War - broke out as an attempt to look at religion as an instrument of power
and authority and national identification. 1618 war started in the Kingdom of Bohemia
First continent wide war. Religious spark.
Leviathan (1651) – Idea that state is omnificent, but also a monster. Nothing can bring the state
down. Men and women lived in a state of nature, ruled by brute force, and lived miserable lives
to provide for the strong people.
The Scientific Revolution – the term is commonly applied to the changes in scientific
theory and practice that took root in the early seventeenth century and promoted the
advance of sicence as we know it today. It grew initially out of changes in astronomy and
physics, the creation of mechanical philosophy as a general theory of nature, and the adoption
of mathematics as a basic l