Transforming The High Middle Ages Essay

1287 words - 5 pages

Cultures are guided by unique influences and morals based upon previous experiences. Their developments set the stage for the improvement of future generations and nations. These shared improvements and experiences allow a community to be led and supported by common values. The interests of the English culture reflected the economic, political, and social changes from the 11th through 14th centuries. The life and monarchy of the English nation during the High Middle Ages relied heavily on the influences of the Normans, the Christian church, and technology.

The educational and technological innovations developed in England during the High Middle Ages brought quick improvements in agriculture, war, and knowledge. Education and scholasticism were encouraged and were increasing in importance. “Thomas was … of a sharp intellect, amiable in his manners, and of such keen powers of reasoning as to be able prudently to solve abstruse and difficult questions; and so retentive was his memory, that whatever he had once heard or read he could recall whenever he pleased without an effort.” (Life of Thomas Becket) Whether parents or professors trained them, educated citizens were considered more knowledgeable and successful. The education dispensed to many citizens increased their knowledge to a point where they earned the status of an authority. Numerous universities and cathedral schools provided these elevated professors and sources of knowledge. The knight’s use and control of new weaponry and transportation in battles transformed yet another aspect of European history. English knights and armies were equipped with metal crossbows, catapults, flexible chain mail, and horses. These features were commonly found in chivalry of the 11th through 14th centuries. The innovations of European warfare provided English knights with improved safety and accuracy. In addition to its use in battles, the horse became a necessity in farm life. Horses enabled English farmers to work more plots of land, each having denser soils. The use of land and soil was also improved through the rotation of crops. The increased productivity of farming allowed English citizens to eat better and live longer. Agricultural inventions such as the heavy plow with the efficient and powerful horse improved agriculture all over Europe.

The Norman conquest of England resulted in a sudden progression in the development of social organization. “No widow shall be compelled to marry, so long as she prefers to live without a husband; provided always that she gives security not to marry without our consent, if she holds of us, or without the consent of the lord of whom she holds, if she holds of another.” (Clause 8, Magna Carta) The relationship between feudal lords and their subjects was a loyal bond that required honesty, obedience, and respect by law. Women, although given numerous and expanding rights, were constantly treated as property and had little freedom. Barons and officials wrote this...

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