The decline of medieval europe
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The Decline of Medieval Europe. Starting in the 14th century, European society began to decline due to the following:. Famines between 1314 & 1317 The Hundred Years War The Black Death. Famine. The Population increased quickly because of improved agricultural techniques.

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The Decline of Medieval Europe

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The Decline of Medieval Europe

Starting in the 14th century, European society began to decline due to the following:

  • Famines between 1314 & 1317

  • The Hundred Years War

  • The Black Death


  • The Population increased quickly because of improved agricultural techniques.

  • Later poor harvests (because of cooler, wetter weather) caused starvation.

The Hundred Years War (1338-1453)

  • A series of conflicts between France and England resulting from hostilities dating back to the Norman Conquest (William the Conqueror).

  • Constant battle inhibited development.

The Black Death (1347-1350)

  • The Bubonic plague killed ¼ of Europe’s population.

  • It was spread by rats carrying fleas infected with the plague.


  • Flourishing commerce & town growth collapsed

  • Fewer farmers/labourers = less food = shortages = less people = fewer farmers/ labourers, etc. etc

The Renaissance

  • A Great revival of classical (Greek & Roman) art, literature, and learning in Europe.

  • Renaissance means rebirth or revival.


  • It Began in the Italian city-states.

  • The city of Florence, which was under the control of a powerful banking/trading family (the Medici family) was at its heart.

  • It spread to the rest of Europe through the printing press. This allowed books and writing to reach a mass audience quickly and cheaply.


  • He perfected the press in 1453.

  • The level of importance of the printing press is rivaled by few other inventions


  • Artists, writers, and scholars (at first in Italy) who admired classical works, and strove to recreate the work of their ancestors.

  • Many became very well known (i.e. Da Vinci, Michelangelo).

  • Great patrons (the Medici family, the Roman Catholics Church, governments, etc.) commissioned their work.


  • Humanism: focus on human concerns.

  • Emphasis is placed on human ability.

  • Scientific investigation focused on observation of the natural world.

  • Sought to improve humanity and society through enlightened education and action.

  • Renaissance man: a term to describe a person well educated who excels in a wide variety of subjects or fields.

The Reformation

  • A religious movement in Europe that began with Roman Catholic reforms and ended with the establishment of Protestant churches.


  • It began in Germany and spread throughout Europe.


  • The Roman Catholic church was weakened by the Great Schism of the 14th century.

  • The sale of church positions by the pope to nobles without religious training.

  • The sale of Indulgences (pardons that could be bought to reduce time punished for sin.)

  • Resentment of expensive church construction, and lavish spending.

  • Differences in belief about how the church should be run.

The leader – Martin Luther (1483-1546)

  • He was a German monk.

  • He was outraged by the sale of church indulgences and other matters of church practice.

  • He nailed the Ninety-Five Theses on the door of a church in protest.

  • The statements were printed and circulated all over Germany.

  • Luther was excommunicated and convicted of heresy by the pope.

  • He was saved by a German prince.

  • His work caused a split in Germany between Lutherans and Roman Catholics.

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