Europe in crisis
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Europe in crisis. Disease, war, and schism. Europe in crisis: disease. The Bubonic Plague Known as the Black Death only from 1346-1353 in Europe. Enzootic Meaning it was contracted by humans from animals. Where did it come from? Originated in Asia Probably China

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Europe in crisis

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Europe in crisis

Disease, war, and schism

Europe in crisis: disease

The Bubonic Plague

  • Known as the Black Death only from 1346-1353 in Europe.

  • Enzootic

    • Meaning it was contracted by humans from animals.

      Where did it come from?

  • Originated in Asia

    • Probably China

    • First outbreak is seen around Lake IssykKulin Kyrgyzstan in 1338

      How was it spread?

  • By the old Silk Road, both via land routes and sea routes

Europe in crisis: disease

Europe in crisis: disease

Europe in crisis: disease

First Signs of a Pandemic

  • Crops up in the Byzantine Empire in the 6th & 7th centuries.

    • Known as the Plague of Justinian

    • Wipes out possibly 40% of the population of Constantinople.

      Why do you think it took so long for the plague to become a world wide pandemic?

      Do you think Europe was more susceptible to the plague than other parts of the world? Why?

Europe in crisis: disease

A Weak Europe is Easy Prey for the Plague

  • A warming trend comes to a close in the North Atlantic region (950-1250 c.e.)

  • A “little ice age” begins (1350-1850 c.e.)

  • Higher fertility rates (5 per woman)

    • Less food

    • More people ---- Which leads to what?

  • Heavy rains begin to hit Europe by the fall of 1314

    • Cold and wet winters make harvests worse.

    • Seven year famine results – The Great Famine

      What problems do you foresee arising from a shifting climate?

  • Lower yield harvests

  • New heavy plow and three-field system weren’t as effective in the north – harder clay soil.

Europe in crisis: disease

How It Spread

  • Oct. 1347 it reaches Sicily, brought by ships coming from Genoa.

  • Outbreak in Pisa that spread through Northern Italy.

  • A ship expelled from Italy reached Marseille, France in Jan 1348.

  • After France it hit Spain, Portugal, and England by June 1348.

  • It spread east through Scandinavia and Germany by 1350.

Europe in crisis: disease

Danse Macabre “The Dance of Death”

  • Ankle length over-coat.

  • Bird like beak mask.

  • Gloves, boots, brimmed hat, cloak.

Danse Macabre “The Dance of Death”

Michael Wolgemut

Danse Macabre “The Dance of Death”


St. Nicholas Church, Estonia

Europe in crisis: disease

Consequences of the Black Death in Europe

  • Better sanitation – Pistoia (city in Tuscany), decreed that butchers and sellers of meat can’t stable horses or allow any mud or dung inside a shop where meat is sold.

  • Religious fundamentalism – whipping in order to placate god.

  • Persecutions against Jews

  • Art – the Dance of Death

  • Rise in the standard of living

  • Rise in education – new universities founded

Europe in crisis: War

  • England dominated the first three phases.

    • The Kingdom of Burgundy was created that allied itself with England for a time.

  • Fourth Phase and a turnaround for the French.

    • 1429, Joan shows up at the royal court in full armor, riding a horse, and followed by a small army.

    • She fights and wins the Battle of Orleans – convincing the French crown (Charles VII) she is sent from God.

Europe in crisis: War

  • Edward’s campaigns in France achieved little.

    • Invaded again at Normandy in 1346

    • Philip musters troops to meet him at Crecy

    • English victory, but not decisive.

  • Black Prince launches pirate raids in France.

    • French finally force a battle

    • King John II is captured in the French defeat.

    • Ends the 1st phase of the war.

  • Peace treaty in 1359

    • English ransom John back to the French

    • English territories in Gascony are enlarged

    • Edward renounced claims to the French throne

    • John gives up control over English lands in France.

  • First phase makes it clear that the English cannot takeover all of France.

Europe in crisis: War

  • Treaty wasn’t really enforced

    • French recover all their lost lands under John’s son Charles V.

  • English Renew War

    • Strike when France is going through civil war

    • Burgundy and Orleans try to control the French crown

    • Henry V invades in 1415 at Battle of Agincourt

    • French loss and English ally themselves with Burgundy

    • Force Charles VI to sign a treaty wedding Henry V to his daughter.

    • By 1420 the English rule northern France

Europe in crisis: War

Who Will Save the French….?

  • Apparently all it takes is a teenage girl.

  • Joan of Arc

    • Experience religious visions

    • Persuades the French king to allow her to accompany them.

    • Predicts that Charles (Charles VI son) will sit on the throne of France.

    • Captured by Burgundy and turned over to the English.

  • Her exploits give new life to the French they go on to win the war

    • Cannon (gunpowder)

    • England loses commanders and their was political instability.

  • Europe in crisis: Schism


    • By 1300 the papacy had reached its zenith.

    • 1290: Both England and France taxed landed estates and bishoprics (secular area of land ruled by a clerical office).

    • Pope Boniface VIII (1302) says no taxation of the clergy by civil rulers.

      • Issues papal bull, Unam Sanctum – outside the Roman church there is no salvation, all human creatures are subject to the Roman pontiff.

    • Philip sends (France) sends troops to arrest Boniface.

      • Boniface died soon after and French influence elects a pope that is more subservient to France.

    Avignon, France

    Europe in crisis: Schism

    Clement V – (1305)

    • Using the excuse of turbulence in Rome, he takes up residence at Avignon.

      • The Pope is the bishop of Rome

      • He is the successor of Saint Peter, considered to be the first bishop of Rome.

      • It damages the image of the papacy for the pontiff to reside elsewhere

    • By the 1330s the popes began to construct a stately palace in Avignon.

    Europe in crisis: Schism

    • The Church begins to adapt to the times as the other growing monarchical states

      • Builds the most sophisticated administrative system in the medieval world

      • Finding new sources of revenue

      • Impose new taxes on the clergy

      • Began to be criticized for the splendor in which they are living in.

    • Catherine of Siena goes on a mission to pope Gregory XI

      • Wants him to move the papacy back to Rome and live more modestly.

      • He does in 1377

    Europe in crisis: Schism

    Greg Dies in the next Year

    • College of cardinals meets to elect new pope

      • Roman citizens say that if they elect a Frenchman, they wont leave Rome alive.

      • They elect a Roman – Pope Urban VI

        • Says he will get rid of the French majority

    • French cardinals issue a manifesto claiming they were coerced into voting for a Roman.

      • They vote again and choose a Frenchman – Pope Clement VII

      • Promptly return to Avignon

    • Urban remained in Rome

      • Now we have two popes…

    Europe in crisis: Schism

    Urban VI

    Clement VII




    Southern Italy

    • England

    • Germany

    • Scandinavia

    • Most of the rest of Italy

    Europe in crisis: Schism

    The Great Schism

    • Greatly aggravated the abuses of the Church

    • Had to increase taxation

    • Hurt Christian faith in the Church

    • Each line of popes denounced the other as the antichrist… Classy.

      How to Fix This Thing?

    • The rise of the conciliar movement

      • Says that the church is only part of society and that they have no authority over temporal matters

      • Church authority is derived from the entire community of the faithful

      • Spiritual matters must decided by a general church council representing all church members

    Europe in crisis: Schism

    How Should Call the Council?

    • Cardinals from both camps call one

      • Council of Pisa (1409)

      • Depose both popes and elect Alexander V

      • The other two popes refuse to step down

        • Now we got three popes… You can’t have three popes.

          Holy Roman Emperor Calls a New Council

    • Remain popes either retire or are deposed

    • Martin V is elected and Great Schism is over

    Europe in crisis: Schism

    The Great Schism

    • The papacy briefly returns to Rome in 1378.

      • Cardinals elect Pope Urban VI, but regret it soon after.

      • They retreat to Anagni and elect a second pope, Clement VII (antipope: one who is opposition to the accepted pope but with a significant claim to that authority).

    • Clement VII moves his papacy back to Avignon.

    Consolidating Power: Nation Building


    • North and Eastern Europe form loose alliances

    • The Swiss form a confederation

    • Italy goes from small city-states to five major powers

    • Spain unifies and centralizes under a monarchy

    • France and England strengthen their central gov’ts.

      How did the monarchs and republics of the 15th century use their newly consolidated powers?

    Consolidating Power: Nation Building

    Hanseatic League (Hanse means “guild”)

    • Mainly north German cities (in the Holy Roman Empire).

    • Came together to protect mutual interests

      • Trade

      • Defense

    • The League linked the Baltic Coast with Russia, Norway, England, and some cities in Italy

    • Usually threatened with war from Norway and Denmark.

      • They shared common armies during times of crisis

    The hanseatic league (13th - 17th C.)

    The hanseatic league (13th - 17th C.)

    France (15th century)

    France (15th century)

    • Before Louis XI (Valois Family) French kings usually only controlled the lands around Paris

    • Burgundy emerged from the 100 Years’ War agriculturally and economically more power than France.

      • Although part of the French royal house, they acted autonomously – acquiring land and building their own armies.

    • Duke of Burgundy dies in 1477, Louis XI seizes Burgundy land and consolidates it into greater France.

      • By end of 15th c. France doubles its size and looks more like the modern day French state.

    Spain (mid-15th cent.)

    Spain (mid-15th cent.)

    • Mid-15th cent. Iberian Peninsula was divided into distinct kingdoms.

      • Castile, Aragon, Granada, Navarre, Portugal

      • All were Christian except Granada, which had been a Muslim stronghold for many years.

      • Muslim strength began to weaken by the 11th century

      • Christian kingdoms launched attacks throughout known as the Reconquista.

    • In this atmosphere, Isabella of Castile married Ferdinand of Aragon in 1469.

      • Opposition from nobles caused a decade long civil war, the royal houses emerged victorious and named a new Kingdom of Spain.

    Spain (mid-15th cent.)

    The New Spain

    • The new monarchs reduced the power of the nobility by appointing hidalgos

      • Lesser aristocrats who owe their positions to the state.

    • Ferdinand and Isabella began extending Christianity over the whole peninsula.

    • Turn to driving out Muslims in southern Castile and Granada.

      • Stimulates religious fervor, and inspires loyalty to the king and queen.

      • Pope grants them the right to appoint bishops and abbots.

      • Also they are granted the right to establish their own Inquisition.

    Spain (mid-15th cent.)

    The New Spain (Inquisition)

    • 1492: Last Muslim stronghold falls in Granada.

    • 1493: All Jews are expelled from Spain

      • About 150,000 people given 4 months to leave.

    • 1502: All Muslims how had not converted are expelled

    • Persecution of all heretics fosters religious unity that strengthens centralization.

    England (15th century)

    • After 100 Years’ War England goes through a civil war.

      • War of the Roses (1455-1485): between rival factions of the royal family for power.

      • House of Lancaster (Red Rose) vs. House of York (White Rose)

      • Compromise was reached in 1485 when a new royal house emerged after a marriage between the two warring families – The Tudors.

      • Henry VII ruled as the first Tudor king in a dynasty that would dominate England through the 16th century.

        • Set up Court of Star Chamber that allowed him to further his power

        • Confiscated noble lands and fortunes to a point where he didn’t need Parliament for financial support.

    Swiss Confederation

    • Switzerland is made up of semi-autonimous provinces or cantons.

      • Each one is under the rubric of the federal state of Switzerland.

    • Much like the Hanseatic League, the cantons organized in order to maintain separation from the Holy Roman Empire.

    • Dominated by wealthy merchants and tradesmen.

      • These were able to supplant the nobility by the 15th cent.

    • Rural communities gain some political importance – no king, duke, or count ever came to rule the confederation.

      • Swiss foot soldiers would act as mercenaries for kings throughout the rest of Europe.


    • Milan

    • Venice

    • Florence

    • Naples

    • Papal States

    • A loose alliance is constructed in 1454 between Milan, Naples, and Florence – Treaty of Lodi

      • Only a few years before Milan and Naples begin to feud

      • This allowed an expanding France (Charles VIII) to cross the alps and invade Milan, then Naples.

      • Florence, Rome, and Naples fold, but Pope Leo X calls Spain and the HRE to defend Italy.

      • Italy becomes a battle ground in Europe, particularly b/t the Valois (France) and the Habsburgs (HRE).

    Italy (15th century)

    In conclusion (1340-1492)

    • 100 Years’ War (1337)

    • Black Death (1346)

    • Schism in the Church (Avignon & Rome)

    • Uprisings in the countryside

    • Ottoman Turks capture Constantinople (1453)

    • Renaissance spreads out from Italy

      • Rulers use the new arts to glorify themselves

    • Spain is unified by marriage, along with Poland-Lithuania.

    • The Swiss Confederation becomes a permanent entity.

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