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European History In The 13th And 14th Centuries

1080 words - 4 pages

The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were very hard times for Europe. New ideas were being brought and spread into Europe. Education became essential to ones life in order to be successful. Trade was flourishing and medieval cities began to grow. New political standards were being established, and power struggles existed between the church and monarchy. Soon, the plague hit Europe and destroyed 25-50% of its population. With this, Europe went into a state devastation. Religion was changed, social customs were changed, the government was changed, and the economy suffered because of it. The Hundred Years War caused even more devastation with countries losing land, people dying, and economic struggle which lead to peasant revolts. Europe during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries experienced social, economic, political, and religious devastation.

Social devastation in Europe started with the great famine of 1315-1317. Heavy rains resulted in destroyed agriculture which led to starvation. The famine had killed an estimated 10% of the European population. Some historians argue that the famine led to malnutrition which made people more susceptible to disease. This would have made it possible for the Black Plague to spread. The Black Plague killed off 25-50% of Europe's population. It was said to have been spread by fleas on rats that came from the Mongols, along with trade, and human everyday interaction. The European towns were completely infected with the plague. Some small villages and towns were even entirely wiped out. Because of the many deaths, streets were filled with corpses and sick people. Music and art changed from enjoyable to mourning. The plague became the worst epidemic known to history. The plague led to peasant revolts in the mid to late 14th century. One of the most famous was known as the Jacquerie. There was also the English Peasants' Revolt of 1381. As the taxes after the plague were raised, peasants grew angry and violently protested killing and massacring nobles and government officials. Some revolts were successful like the Coimpi, who gained the right to for guilds represented by the government, but they were eventually brought to an end as all the revolts were.

The economy was very successful in the early middle ages, but soon decreased for many reasons. The revival of trade created a successful economy for Europe in the 12th and part of the 13th century. Burgs, communes, and guild were created which helped the industry. Around the time of the Black Death, society was divided into three estates: clergy, nobility, and laborers. Due to the plague, there was a great labor shortage. This meant that peasants could be paid more to work since it was difficult to find workers at the time. The upper class was having to pay more for the work and soon became impoverished. The Statue of Laborers was passed in 1351, which lowered the wage rates of the peasants. Taxes were also placed on the peasants which became another...

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