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The Political and Social Changes in Western Europe Essay

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Western European people had endured a series of changes during the late medieval period. Changes can be categorized into two aspects: politically and socially. On politics, Popes were not as strong as they were due to conflicts between the state and the church. Socially, people began to live a religion- dominated life, and experienced active sexism towards women. These changes, either positive or negative, have become an undivided part of European History.
People faced the rise and the fall of the Catholic Church during the medieval time. The Popes used to hold the final authority for the church and over the state. Pope Gregory VII asserted the Pope had granted the divine power from God because Saint Peter was the first of getting this honor. Pope Gregory VII also suggested people and royals of a kingdom should all look upon Churches because they are the heads of the government. Their decision and opinion should not be questioned and must be followed. On the other hand, Gregory VII has also mentioned the kings and princes were “raised by pride, plunder, treachery, murder” (Perry, 227), which implied churches were the ultimate virtue and people should worship God. Pope Gregory VII had outlined the rules of the Pope in order to protect their rights, including Pope had the right to reform the church by proposing new laws and creating new bishoprics, princes (royals) should kiss the foot of the pope, and the pope had the power to depose emperors. These rules belittled the princes but raised the status of the Pope (1). Thus, Pope held the absolute authority over state. However, Churches had experienced several attempts from the nobles to challenge the authority due to Churches’ unlimited power over the state between 1000 and 1500C...


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...eople started living a religion-dominated life, and experienced active sexism towards women. These changes, both positive and negative, have become a significant part of European History.



Works Cited

1. Pope Gregory, VII. “The Second Letter to Bishop Herman of Metz and The Dictatus Papae.” Sources of Western Tradition Volume 1. By Marvin Perry. Boston: Wadsworth, 2006. 226-229. Print.
2. Aquinas, Thomas, Saint. “Summa Thelogia.” Sources of Western Tradition Volume 1. By Marvin Perry. Boston: Wadsworth, 2006. 239-241. Print.
3. Perry, Marvin. “On Love and Marriage.” Sources of Western Tradition Volume 1. Boston : Wadsworth, 2006. 259-261. Print.
4. Pisan, Christine de. “The City of Ladies.” Sources of Western Tradition Volume 1. By Marvin Perry. Boston: Wadsworth, 2006. 256-258. Print.
McKay, John. History of Western Society. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 291-396. Print.


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