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University of Toronto St. George
Kenneth Bartlett

Europe in the 1300s Feudalism Term used by historians to describe the social structure from the fall of the Roman Empire, emerging in the late 9 centuryh Lords: nobles who owned/controlled the land Vassals: holders of land by feudal tenure on conditions of homage and allegiance Serfs: free workers of the lord, inherited, basically property Describes a set of political, social, and economic values in which public power lay in the hands of the private Decentralized government Lords Nobility who owned/controlled land Top in feudalism, beginning in 9 century Owed allegiance to the king, but had independent power bases Collected taxes, administered justice, raised private armies Social Crisis, Economic Dislocation, Plague, and War: 1300-1500 Little Ice Age Significant and abrupt cooling leading to a shorter growing season, decline in agricultural productions, famine, and starvation th Began in 14 century Europe Weakened society before plague Black Death Bubonic plague on rodents from China Began in the 14 century, outbreaks on and off Killed 60-70% of its victims, wiped out entire towns, 35% of Europe Caused economic and social disruption Labour shortages leading to workers finding landlords with better terms English Peasant Revolt English peasants, leader Wat Tyler and John Ball Peasant conditions had improved after plague (greater freedom, higher wages, lower obligations) and they want it to stay that way Legislation is passed to re-impose former rents and lower wages as well as a poll tax (charged every citizen) Widespread rebellion, murder archbishop of Canterbury March to London, Richard II agrees to terms 1381 Catholic Church and Medieval Society Gregorian Reforms Pope Gregory VII, 1050-1130 Series of reforms involving moral integrity and authority of the church Complained about domination of church by laymen and church involvement in feudal obligations Wanted: Freedom of church from state control Negation of sacramental character of kingship Domination of papacy over secular rulers Led to change in role of Church, investiture controversy, large measure of freedom from secular control, improved moral and intellectual level of clergy Crusades Urban II, 1095-1291, FOUR Series of Holy Wars fought in the name of God against non-Christians Mostly French fighters Urban wanted to: Regain Holy Lands for the cross Reunite Western Christendom after disputes over Gregorian Reform Increase papal prestige Work toward ending schism between Western and Eastern church United Europe against a common enemy, instilled military values in the people, violence for God Medieval and Early Modern Politics: Monarchies Cities, and States State Competition th France, Italy, England, 15 century Developed better methods of governing Centralized authority takes over: head taxes, permanent armies (all need a centralized leader) Competition amongst states intensifies, frequent small-scale wars States start seeking technological advances to strengthen armies Rise of Towns As more land is being cultivated and people live longer, people begin moving from rural to towns Rise of a new group of people (merchants, doctors, skills) As towns grow, they resist demands of lord and demand a Charter of Incorporation (legal document from lord who doesnt give up power but guarantees certain rights) th 11-12 centuries Leads to money economy based on buying, selling, trading Leads to decline of noble power base (would set fixed rent in towns but as more money went into circulation, value of rents dropped) The Renaissance Scholasticism Universities and philosophers throughout Europe try to fuse Aristotelian reason with Christianity Theologians unable to develop a common theory on origins of universe and God Medieval view of world begins to break down Different schools develop different view of orthodoxy Late 13 century, Aristotle banned These controversies lead to separation of theology and philosophy Humanism Italian Renaissance, 14 -16 centuries Social humanism Emphasis on human autonomy (human freedom to realize own potential) Intellectual humanism: Emphasis on human values over feudal and ecclesiastical institutions Here and now instead of afterlife International intellectual and philosophical movement
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