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The later middle ages. Crisis and Disintegration in the 14 th Century. Famine and Population. Toward end of 13 th century, Europe experienced a “little ice age” Small drop in overall temperatures Shortened growing seasons, heavy rain storms, and constant rains

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the later middle ages

The later middle ages

Crisis and Disintegration in the 14th Century

famine and population
Famine and Population
  • Toward end of 13th century, Europe experienced a “little ice age”
    • Small drop in overall temperatures
  • Shortened growing seasons, heavy rain storms, and constant rains
  • The conditions destroyed harvests and caused serious food shortages
    • Famine killed 10% of Europe’s population in the first half of the 14th century.
famine cont d
Famine cont’d
  • By 1300, Europe had reached it’s max population potential.
    • The land could not support any more people
  • Famine led to:
    • Chronic malnutrition
    • Increased infant mortality
    • Lower birthrates
    • Higher susceptibility to disease
the black death
The Black Death
  • The most devastating natural disaster in European history
  • Originated in Asia – spread by flea infested rats carrying the bacteria.
  • Mongol conquests and trade routes contributed to the rapid spread of the disease.
  • Once infected, often spread from human coughing.
two types of plague
Two Types of Plague

Bubonic

PNEUMONIC

  • Most common
  • Deadly bactieriumYersiniapestis
  • Symptoms:
    • High fever
    • Aching joints
    • Swollen lymph nodes
    • Bleeding beneath the skin
  • Bacterial infection spread to the lungs
  • Symptoms:
    • Severe coughing
    • Bloody sputum
    • Easy spread of bacillus (due to coughing)
effects of the black death
Effects of the Black Death
  • Severe decrease in population
    • Estimated Europe lost 25-50% of its population
    • About 19-38 million people
    • Population didn’t recover until 1500 and still took several generations to get back to 13th century level.
  • Reckless behavior
    • Sexual and alcoholic orgies
    • Flagellants – men and women who wandered from town to town flogging themselves with whips to win the forgiveness of God.
effects of the black death1
Effects of the Black Death
  • Anti-semitism: Jews were accused of causing the plague by poisoning wells
    • Pogroms – organized massacres of the Jews.
    • Led to a majority of Jews moving eastward to Russia and Poland, where the king offered them protection.
  • Lack of respect for life
    • Treated life as cheap and passing
    • Violence and violent death appeared to be more common after the plague than before.
economic and social upheaval
Economic and Social Upheaval
  • Labor shortage = rise in the price of labor
  • Less demand for product = lower prices for goods
  • As a result, aristocratic incomes dropped more than 20 percent.
    • Felt threatened by world of higher wages and lower prices
  • To counterbalance this, aristocrats tried to create new governmental taxes.
  • This led to peasant revolts
revolt in france
Revolt in France
  • Known as the Jacquerie
  • 1358 in northern France
  • Peasants upset because troops during wars laid waste to their lands and mercenaries were eating their produce.
  • Peasants burned castles and murdered nobles
  • Nobles eventually close ranks and savagely massacre the rebles
revolt in england
Revolt in England
  • A product of rising expectations not desperation
  • Monarchy attempted to place a poll tax on every male member of the population
  • Revolt:
    • Successful
    • Kill nobles, burn manors, murder archbishop of canterbury
  • End result:
    • Poll tax eliminated and rebels pardoned
revolts in the cities
Revolts in the Cities
  • Oversupply of goods and an immediate drop in demand led to a decline in trade
  • Merchants and manufacturers responded by attempting to restrict competition and resist the demands of the lower classes.
  • However, accustomed to ruling, the established classes easily combined and quashed dissent.
hundred years war
Hundred Years’ War
  • Caused by a dispute over the succession to the French throne.
  • The Capetian dynasty failed to produce a male heir for the first time in 400 years.
    • Closest male relative = Edward III of England, son of Isabella who was the daughter of Philip IV (last capetian king)
    • French nobles argued that inheritance could not go through the female line and chose Philip, duke of Valois, to be King Philip VI
joan of arc
Joan of Arc
  • Born in 1412 to a wealthy peasant family
  • Experienced visions and came to believe that her favorite saints had commanded her to free France and have the dauphin crowned as king.
  • Because of her the French army found new confidence in itself and fought better.
  • She was captured by the English, tried as a witch, and burned at the stake before the war ended.
  • Later made a saint by the Catholic Church
end of the war
End of the War
  • Use of the cannon was important to French success.
    • Castle walls and armor don’t hold up well against cannonballs and gun powder….
  • Defeats of the English armies at Normandy and Aquitaine particularly detrimental.
  • France wins the war
political instability
Political Instability
  • Lord-vassal relationship based on land and military service replaced by contracts based on money
  • Monarchs liked this because they could hire more reliable, professional soldiers
    • Led to broke monarchies bc they had to pay soldiers
  • By mid-15th century, many monarchs were not direct descendants of prior rulers
    • Two claimants to French throne, two factions in England, three German princes trying to be Emperor
growth of england s political institutions
Growth of England’s Political Institutions
  • Parliament increased in prominence and developed its basic structure and functions bc of the need to levy new taxes.
  • House of Commons: typically approved measures by Lords, but begin drawing up petitions that could become laws.
  • Two factions competing for crown – Lancasters and Plantagenet. This led to the War of the Roses.
problems of the french kings
Problems of the French Kings
  • Monarchy always a bit weak bc various French territories maintained their own princes, customs, and laws.
  • Also, the third estate of the French parliament usually only represented northern France.
  • Two factions for King after insane Charles VI: Orleanist (supported by most nobles) and Burgundiands (supported by Paris and other towns)
the german monarchy
The German Monarchy
  • A land of hundreds of virtually independent states
  • Rulers of states had some obligations towards King and Holy Roman Emperor, but typically acted independently.
  • At the beginning of the 15th century, 3 emperors claimed the throne. This created a condition that verged on anarchy.
italy
Italy
  • Southern Italy divided into the kingdom of Naples (ruled by French house of Anjou) and Sicily (rule by Spanish house of Aragon)
  • Northern Italy
    • Ducy of Milan: Visconti family ruled through purchase of the dukedom
    • Florence: republican government run by 7 major guilds.
    • Venice: merchant families took control of the city and created a “great council”
papacy at avignon
Papacy at Avignon
  • After the death of Boniface VIII, Philip IV put pressure for a French cardinal to be elected pope.
  • Clement V (1305-1314) is elected and moves the papacy to Avignon.
  • Widely believed French monarchy now controlled the papacy
    • During the 72 years of the Avignonese papacy, 134 new cardinals chosen by popes and 113 were French.
the great schism
The Great Schism
  • Citizens of Rome threatened cardinals not to pick another Frenchman during the conclave of 1378.
  • Fearful for their lives, they elected Urban VI, an Italian.
  • Later, they issued a manifesto claiming to have been coerced by the mob so Urban’s election was invalid.
  • Elected a Frenchman in Avignon – Clement VII
two popes
Two Popes
  • Europe’s loyalty divided
    • France, Spain, Scotland, & Southern Italy support Clement
    • England, Germany, Scandinavia, & most of Italy support Urban
  • Badly damaged the faith of Christian believers.
    • Pope was supposed to hold the keys to Heaven. Having two undermined the very foundation of the church.
two popes cont d
Two Popes cont’d
  • Conciliarism
    • Belief that only a general council of the church could end the schism and bring reform.
  • Council of Pisa
    • Elected a third Pope, but the other two refused to step down so now there were three (yikes)
  • Council of Constance
    • Three competing popes finally resigned or were deposed of – new pope is Martin V.
popular religion
Popular Religion
  • Church failed to provide sufficient spiritual comfort.
    • Priests abandoned parishes to escape plague
  • People played an active role in their own salvation
    • Emphasis on good works, pilgramages, charitable contributions
  • Mysticism
    • To achieve true spiritual communion with God one must imitate the life of Jesus and serve the needs of others.
brothers and sisters of the common life
Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life
  • Not a regular religious order
  • Lived in houses together (segregated by gender)
  • Did not take monastic vows, but voluntarily lived by quasi-monastic rules that they imposed on their own communities.
vernacular literature
Vernacular Literature
  • Dante
    • From a noble Florentine family
    • Divine Comedy: story of the soul’s progression to salvation
  • Petrarch
    • Florence
    • Sonnets inspired by his love for a married woman
  • Boccaccio
    • Florence – uses the Tuscan dialect
    • Decameron – prose romances
vernacular literature1
Vernacular Literature
  • Chaucer
    • English author
    • Canterbuy Tales – told by 29 pilgrims journeying from London to the tomb of Thomas Becket.
    • Criticizes the church and gives various perspectives
  • Christine de Pizan
    • Widow who wrote to support her family
    • French prose written in defense of women
    • Encouraged women to defend themselves against the attacks of men.
changes in urban life
Changes in Urban Life
  • City ordinances against waste in streets
    • Bath houses also shut down
  • Organized brothels and put a tax on prostitutes
    • Seen as better for men to use them than married women or virgins
    • Wore red hats to distinguish themselves from other women
  • Couples marry at a younger age
  • Children’s education and health taken more seriously
medical hierarchy
Medical Hierarchy
  • Physicians – usually clergymen who received their education form universities
  • Surgeons – performed operations, setting broken bones, and bleeding patients.
  • Midwives – delivered babies
  • Barber-Surgeons – blood letting, minor fractions, tooth extractions
  • Apothecaries – filled herbal prescriptions and prescribed their own
inventions
Inventions
  • Clock
    • Expensive
    • Gave more meaning to time
    • Typically in church towers or municipal buildings
  • Eyeglasses and Paper
    • Helped to see tiny print on paper. Not as good as today’s.
    • Paper made of cotton rags, but superior to modern paper
  • Cannons and gun powder