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Western Europe Essay

821 words - 4 pages

For Western Europe, the Postclassical era mainly represented a search for truth. People were no longer happy with knowing how one thing affected another, they wished to delve deeper and find out why. At the beginning of the period most people, peasants and kings alike, turned to the Church for guidance and to discover the meaning of events in their lives. However, as time passed, philosophers began to stress the gathering of rational evidence to answer questions. This movement from religious to logical thinking brought great change with it in Western Europe.
The Church was, undoubtedly, the most powerful body in Europe at the beginning of the Middle Ages. In most Western kingdoms the Pope ...view middle of the document...

They took it as their mission to protect their religion by abolishing the threat of other religions. In Document 11, it can be seen that the Inquisition of the Catholic Church was horribly brutal to those they thought of as heretics. The man conducting the inquisition (torture) is even described as, “that destroyer of the faithful,” and, “that treacherous man.” The idea of the torturous questioning was that, “broken by the intense pain, he would be defeated and confess that he was or had been a heretic.” Thus it is shown that in the name of power and control, many people who should have been the most holy, ordered most horrific things to be done.
It was during the Middle Ages that Western Europe began to question the Church’s explanations based on faith, and turned to other ways of reasoning, looking at logic and fact. Document 20 gives one of the most influential reasons for this: the Black Death. The document shows that the people had no idea what caused this plague that was responsible for the death of so many. From the numbers provided in Document 8, it can be seen that from 1340 to 1450 almost a third of the European population was destroyed. Following this, in Document 21, peasants and common people began to rebel against the nobles and kings who had reigned over them for so many years. This was a period where the rules of Western...

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