There are many things that influence the development of a time period, the two most powerful are religion and economics. Throughout history religion and economics have been used to shape entire eras, which is the case in both medieval Europe and Japan. Though the time period between the fifth and 15th century was once referred to as the Dark Ages, we now know more about this time period and the importance of it. In this essay we will delve into how religion and economics influenced both medieval Europe and Japan and their development.
Religion is known to be one of the most common influences of any civilization. This can be seen in medieval Europe where the religion, Christianity, sets the stage for many things to develop, from rights of all people, to a National Identity. Religion heavily influenced the Magna Carta, which helped shape modern democracy. It prevented King John from having unlimited power and gave the people a chance to gain rights. This is the mold in which democracy was crafted. The Magna Carta said it was, “at the prompting of God and for the health of our soul and the souls of our ancestors and successors, for the glory of holy Church and the improvement of our realm, freely and out of our good will have given and granted to the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons and all of our realm these liberties written below to hold in our realm of England in perpetuity.” Since medieval Europe was such a religious time, anything tying to religion was treated seriously. There was little King John could do to avoid his power being limited since not giving these rights would go against God, which was sin.
Religion didn't just influence Europe however, it also played a large role in medieval Japan.
Buddhism was the predominant religion in Japan in medieval times, as can be seen in their military. Imagawa Ryōshun , a military leader, firmly believed in following Buddhism within the military, “Just as the Buddhist scriptures tell us that the Buddha incessantly strives to save mankind, in the same way you should exert your mind to the utmost in all your activities, be they civil or military, and never fall into negligence.“ Buddhism's influence also was reflected in the Bushido which is a code of conduct, or set of rules followed by warriors called samurai. Many came directly from Buddhist beliefs including kindness and education. The samurai followed the Bushido very strictly, even going so far as to kill themselves in order to follow it. This shows how religion influenced medieval Japan, their warriors, defenders of their country, followed the...