Chapter 9 • population growth of Europeans was checked by famine and the plague, disasters which were then followed by revolts of peasants and townspeople.
Hi • At the beginning of the fourteenth century, declining agricultural productivity and bad weather combined to bring famine to Europe, checking population growth and driving people from their lands in search of food. This tragedy was followed by a terrible plague, the Black Death, which arrived in Europe via the trade that had flourished in the Mediterranean in the preceding century. This disease took the lives of over a third of the population. People reacted to the disaster with fear and despair, and in the case of peasants and urban workers, with revolt. The church was criticized for not bringing comfort and order, but it was absorbed in an internal crisis, as disputed papal elections led to controversy and the simultaneous rule of several popes. England and France engaged in a violent war, the Hundred Years' War, which devastated the lives of civilians and transformed the feudal order. Finally, in the east, new empires arose and threatened the borders of Europe. These disasters undermined the feudal order, bringing fears of the world ending, but instead the structures of social, political, economic, and cultural life would be transformed once again.
Economic and Social Misery • Famine • The growth of European society stemmed mostly from agricultural innovations that had generated the boom of the 11th century. • By 1300, people were cultivating poorer lands, and crop yields were dwindling. • As the population grew, people tried to cultivate more land to make up the slack, and they plowed common fields in which cattle grazed. • People were forced to kill their animals, which also reduced the amount of fertilizer. • By the beginning of the 14th century, farmers faced a difficulty accumulating a surplus of food.
Economic and Social Misery • Bad Weather • Famine began in 1315, and lasted until 1322 in some parts of Europe. • Cold winters followed by cool wet summers brought disastrous harvests. • Many who did not starve suffered from malnutrition and were susceptible to infection. • The Black Death: Bubonic Plague • Beginning in Asia a disease infected rodents and spread to black rats. The disease passed through rodents by fleas, and humans could also be bitten. • The black death caused worldwide devastation, it spread through the movement of trade ships.
Economic and Social Misery • The Black Death: Bubonic Plague (cont.) • The plague arrived in Europe in about 1348 on ships, and it raced through Europe, killing 1/3 to ½ of the population. • Law and tradition broke down, and many survivors saw no point in trying to preserve medieval customs. • Flagellants • As medicine failed, some people resorted to extreme measures like the flagellants, who thought that by inflicting pain on themselves they could ask God to relieve the suffering of others. • This movement showed the desperation of the people, who thought God was angry with them.
Economic and Social Misery • Anti-Semitism • Jews were accused of bringing the plague by poisoning wells. • The persecutions in Germany were especially rough, because the English and French kings had forced them eastward. • A pogrom in Strasbourg killed thousands of Jews accused of causing the plague. • Even though the Jews were suffering from the plague, they were being persecuted. Over 60 Jewish communities in Germany were exterminated by 1351. • Many Jews went to eastern Europe and received protection.
Economic and Social Misery • The Peasants and Townspeople Revolt • The European countryside suffered a shortage of labor, and lords tried to increase their number of laborers to farm the lands. • Free laborers began to demand higher wages. • To revolt against statutes that froze earnings, peasants burned manor houses and slaughtered the residents. • John Ball • Popular preachers arose as leaders who combined social reform with religion. • John Ball of England rallied listeners by calling for an overthrow of the social order to eliminate serfs and lords.
Economic and Social Misery • Urban Revolts • The unrest was not limited to the countryside, as population dropped, industry also suffered. • Merchants and manufacturers tried to limit competition and reduce freedoms of the lower classes. • Revolts broke out in many towns throughout Europe.
Chapter 9 • The Church faced crisis again as secular rulers denied the supremacy of papal authority and factions within the church vied for power. C. 1305 GIOTTO LAMENTATION OF CHRIST
Imperial Papacy Besieged • Many medieval men and women looked to the church to guide them. The pope’s troubles undermined the people’s confidence. • Early in the 14th century, the issue of the relative sovereignty of kings and popes resurfaced once more over the taxation of church lands and the clergy’s claim to immunity from royal courts. • The French king, Philip IV, was stronger than the popes, he ordered his troops to arrest Pope Boniface VIII, and was able to capitalize on the violence against the church by getting Clement V elected as pope .
Imperial Papacy Besieged • Popes Move to Avignon • Philip expected the pope to support French interests, the king persuaded the pope to rule from Avignon. • The pope’s absence from Rome raised issues, like who would guide the faithful of Rome. • The popes ruled from Avignon for 72 years in the shadow of the French king, and many Christians objected to the “Babylonian Captivity”. • Return to Rome • Catherine of Siena wrote a series of letters to Pope Gregory XI urging him to return to Rome, and in 1376 she went to Avignon to urge him in person. • He was persuaded and returned to Rome, but the church’s problems increased.
Imperial Papacy Besieged • Things Get Worse: The Great Schism • When Gregory XI died the citizens of Rome feared another French pope would return to Avignon. • The cardinals elected an Italian, Pope Urban VI, and urban almost immediately indicated his hopes of reducing the French influence. • The French cardinals left Rome, and elected their own pope, Clement VII, to rule in Avignon. • Each pope denounced the other as the anti-Christ and increase revenues, which were now split.
Imperial Papacy Besieged • The Conciliar Movement • Asserted its supremacy by deposing the two popes and electing a new one, but the two popes would not step down, so now there were three. • The Council of Constance deposed all three popes and elected Martin V. • New Critics of the Church • As people became disenchanted with the church, they sought new ways to approach God and address the challenges of the age.
Imperial Papacy Besieged • John Wycliffe • Argued that there was no scriptural basis for papal claims of earthly power and that the Bible should be a Christian’s sole authority. • He said that the church should renounce earthly power, leaving it to kings. • He wanted a more simple church led by a clergy that rejected all wealth, the church was the greatest land owner in Europe. • Jan Hus • One of Wycliffe’s most famous proponents, a popular preacher and rector of the university in Prague. • He demanded a reform of the church, and defended his beliefs before the Council of Constance. • He was found guilty of heresy and burned.
Chapter 9 • The prolonged conflict between France and England broke down the feudal system, aided the consolidation of the French monarchy, and weakened the English throne.
More Destruction: The Hundred Years’ War, 1337-1453 • The issue that triggered the War was the succession to the throne of France. • England VS. France • The two kings clashed for both economic and feudal reasons. • New Weapons • Although the French outnumbered the English, the English skillfully used new tactics and new weapons to supplement their mounted knights. • The longbow, pike, and the development of gunpowder helped the outnumbered English.
More Destruction: The Hundred Years’ War, 1337-1453 • English Victories • In the Battle of Crecy in 1346 the sky was blackened by English arrows, and the English secured Flanders and Calais. • In Pointers in 1356 the French called for peace (the Peace of Bretigny), by which Edward renounced the throne in exchange for Calais and holdings in Aquitaine. • The war was reopened in 1369 by Charles V, and soldiers from both sides plundered villages, ruining crops and vineyards. • A Seesaw Battle • Early in the 15th century France seemed to be waning, and the Burgundians joined the English.
More Destruction: The Hundred Years’ War, 1337-1453 • A Seesaw Battle (Cont.) • Henry V reclaimed the French throne, and had a victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. • In 1428, the English laid siege to Orleans. • Joan of Arc • A young peasant girl believed she saw visions in which angels urged her to lead the French troops to victory, and she persuaded the Dauphin to give her command of an army. • The victories she’s credited with revitalized the new national spirit of the French armies, they rallied and by 1453 only Calais was left in English hands.
More Destruction: The Hundred Years’ War, 1337-1453 • Joan Executed • She was captured In 1431 by the Burgundians, and tried For witchcraft and Heresy and she was Burned at the stake. C. 1430-45 FRA ANGELICO THE ANNUNCIATION
The Hundred Years’ War, 1337-1453 • Results of the War • Although personal unimpressive, King Charles’s victory in the Hundred Years War laid the foundations on which the power of early modern France would be bulit. • After 1453, the growing power of the French crown became quickly apparent. • In 1477, Charles’s son, King Louis XI (1461-1483), absorbed the duchy of Burgundy after the last Burgundian duke fell in battle at the hands of the Swiss. • In 1485, King Louis XII helped topple King Richard III of England, whose alliance with Brittany had threatened to renew the English war with France. • When, a few years later, Louis XII acquired Brittany through marriage, the French kings gained control over the last remaining independent principality within the borders of their kingdom.
The Hundred Years War • The Hundred Years War also had dramatic effects on the English monarchy. • When English armies in France were successful as they were under Edward III and Henry V, the Crown rode a wave of popularity and the country prospered from the profits of booty and ransoms. • When the war turned against the English, however, as it did under Richard II and Henry VI, defeats abroad undermined support for the monarch at home. • Of the nine English kings who ruled England between 1307 and 1485, no fewer than five were deposed and murdered by their subjects. • Edward II 1307-1327 • Edward III 1327-1377 • Richard II 1377-1399 • Henry IV 1399-1413(Lancaster) • Henry V 1413-1422 • Henry VI 1422-1461 • Edward IV 1461-1483(York) • Edward V 1483 • Richard III 1483-1485
Hundred Years War • England was the most tightly governed kingdom in Europe, but the strength of its political system depended on the king’s ability to mobilize popular support for his policies through Parliament, while maintaining the support of his nobility through successful wars in Wales, Scotland, and France. • This was a delicate task, at which incompetent or tyrannical kings could not succeed. • The result was an aristocratic rebellion against Henry VI’s government known as the WAR OF THE ROSES. • In 1461, after a six-year struggle, Edward, Duke of York finally succeeded in ousting Henry VI. • He then ruled successfully until his death in 1483. • But when Edward’s brother Richard seized the throne from Edward’s own sons, political stability in England collapsed once again. • In 1485, Richard III was in turn defeated and killed in the battle of Bosworth Field by the Lancastrian claimant, Henry Tudor, who then resolved the dynastic feud between Lancaster and York by marrying Elizabeth of York, the only surviving child of King Edward IV.
Hundred Years War • Now known as King Henry VII, Henry Tudor systematically eliminated potential rivals for the throne. • He avoided expensive foreign wars, asked for little by way of taxation, built up a financial surplus by carefully managing Crown lands, and exercised a tight control over the aristocracy. • When he died in 1509 the new Tudor Dynasty was securely established on the throne, and England royal power was fully restored.
Chapter 9 • Philosophers, writers, and artists responded to the disasters of the fourteenth century by reconsidering old problems and offering new ideas and insights.
Responses to Disaster and Despair • William of Ockham Reconsiders Scholasticism • Ockham argued that universals had no connection with reality, this philosophy was called “New Nominalism”. • New Nominalists believed that it was impossible to know God or prove his existence. • He founded the principle of “Ockham’s razor” which says, that between alternative explanations for the same phenomenon, the simpler is always to be preferred. • New Literary Giants • In the 14th centuries authors began to write in their national languages instead of just Latin. • In Italy, literature emerged that explored people’s place in the world.
Responses to Disaster and Despair • Dante • Born in Florence in 1302, he was exiled due to political turmoil, and composed his masterpiece, The Divine Comedy. • The Divine Comedy is and allegory of a soul’s journey through despair to salvation. He described the punishments of the damned in gruesome detail • Boccaccio • He witnessed the plague as it swept through the city, and in his work The Decameron, he describes the effects. • In The Decameron, 10 young people are telling stories, and speak about sex, lies, and ordinary people.
Responses to Disaster and Despair • Chaucer • His most famous work, The Canterbury Tales, tells of a group of 29 pilgrims who journey from Southwark to Canterbury to the shrine of Thomas Becket. Chaucer gives each pilgrim a vivid personality.
Responses to Disaster and Despair • A New View: Jan Van Eyck • Realism and Symbolism • He was breaking ground in the Arts, but also preserved some of the Ideals of the Middle Ages. • His paintings were filled with Symbolism. Dog – fidelity; St. Margaret - childbirth Single candle – God’s presence & blessing of the wedding night C. 1434 JAN VAN EYCK THE MARRIAGE OF GIOVANNI ARNOLFINI AND GIOVANNA CERAMI
The Mongols • Trade between the Mediterranean world and the Far East dated back to antiquity, but it was not until the late thirteenth century that Europeans began to establish direct trading connections with India, China, and the Spice Islands of the Indonesian archipelago. For Europeans, these connections would prove profoundly important, although less for their economic significance than their impact on the European imagination. For the peoples of Asia, however, the appearance of European traders on the Silk Road between Central Asia and China was merely a curiosity. The really consequential event was the rise of the Mongol Empire that made such connections possible.
The Rise Of The Mongol Empire • The Mongols were one of a number of nomadic peoples inhabiting the steppes of Central Asia. • Although closely connected with various Turkish-speaking peoples with whom they frequently intermarried, the Mongols spoke their own distinctive language and had their own homeland to the north of the Gobi Desert. • Sheep provided them with shelter, in the form of wool tents, clothing, milk, and meat. • Like many nomadic peoples throughout history, the Mongols were highly accomplished cavalry soldiers who supplemented their lives by raiding. • In the late twelfth century a Mongol chief named Temujin began to unit the various Mongol tribes under his rule. • In 1206, his supremacy was formally acknowledged by all the Mongols, and he took the title Chingiz (Genghis) Khan . • Genghis now turned his enormous army against his non-Mongol neighbors.
The Rise of The Mongol Empire • China at this time was divided into three hostile states. • In 1209, Genghis launched an attack on northwestern China; in 1211 he invaded the Chin Empire in north China. • By the 1230’s a full-scale Mongol conquest of northern and western China was under way. • Between 1237 and 1240, the Mongol horde conquered southern Russia and then launched a two-pronged assault farther west. • The smaller of the two Mongol armies swept through Poland toward eastern Germany; the larger army went southwest toward Hungary. • How much farther west the Mongol armies might have pushed will forever remain in doubt, for in 1241 the Great Khan died, and the Mongol forces withdrew from eastern Europe.
Empires in the East • The Ottoman Empire, ca. 1300-1566 • In the 13th century a group of Asiatic nomads migrated westward, along the way they converted to Islam, and brought vigor to Muslim expansion. • By 1355 the Ottomans had surrounded the Byzantine Empire that had stood as a powerful state and a buffer for the West. • Conquest of Constantinople • Mehmed II brought his cannons to the walls of Constantinople and attacked by land and sea. • Constantinople fell in 1453, and the emperor, Constantine XI Palaeologus, died in battle. • Mehmed made his capital Constantinople, and changed the name to Istanbul.
Empires in the East • Suleiman I • Brought the Ottoman Empire to the height of its power, and made the Ottomans into a major naval power. • He secured the sea, and then moved north toward Vienna. • Russia: The Third Rome • The princes of Moscow expanded their territory, and Ivan I recognized the need to curry favor with the Mongol Khanate of the Golden Horde. • In the 15th century, Duchy of Moscow overthrew the Mongol rule. • Ivan III • He pushed back the final Mongol advance on Moscow in 1480, and established himself ruler of the new Russian state. • He took the title of Caesar or “tsar.”
Critical Questions Economic and Social Misery • What factors contributed to the famine that began in 1315? • How did the Black Death arrive in Europe? • How did different sectors of medieval society react to the spread of the plague? • How did peasants and townspeople react to the pressures placed upon them by the labor shortage? • What gains were made by those who participated in fourteenth-century revolts? What, if any, were the long-term changes resulting from the revolts?
Critical Questions • Imperial Papacy Besieged 6. Why did the popes move to Avignon? What kinds of changes did the Avignon popes make in papal administration? 7. What was the Great Schism? How was it resolved? Who were the conciliarists? 8. What kinds of suggestions for reform did critics of the church make in the fourteenth century?
More Destruction: The Hundred Years' War, 1337 – 1453 9. What were the causes of the Hundred Years' War? 10. How did new technology in weaponry play a part in this conflict? 11. Describe the major battles. What gave the victors the advantage in each case? 12. Who was Joan of Arc? Why was she honored by France? 13. What was the war's impact on France? On England? 14. What caused the Wars of the Roses?
Responses to Disaster and Despair 15. What was the philosophy of the New Nominalists? How did their beliefs constitute a refutation of Scholasticism? 16. Why is Dante's Divine Comedy considered a perfect medieval work by some and something entirely new by others? 17. What did Boccaccio's The Decameron reveal about new attitudes in the wake of the plague? 18. What does Chaucer's work tell us about social problems in the fourteenth century? 19. How did van Eyck combine realism and symbolism in his paintings?
Empires in the East 20. What were the accomplishments of Genghis Khan? 21. What were some of the outstanding features of the Mongol Empire? 22. Why was it significant that the Polos were Venetians? What new ideas and inventions did Marco Polo's writings introduce to Europeans? 23. How did the Ottoman Empire expand? 24. How did Ivan III establish Moscow as the "Third Rome"? What was the significance of that phrase?