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European History in the 13th and 14th Centuries Essay

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The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were very hard times for Europe. New ideas were being brought and spread into Europe. Education became essential to ones life in order to be successful. Trade was flourishing and medieval cities began to grow. New political standards were being established, and power struggles existed between the church and monarchy. Soon, the plague hit Europe and destroyed 25-50% of its population. With this, Europe went into a state devastation. Religion was changed, social customs were changed, the government was changed, and the economy suffered because of it. The Hundred Years War caused even more devastation with countries losing land, people dying, and economic struggle which lead to peasant revolts. Europe during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries experienced social, economic, political, and religious devastation.

Social devastation in Europe started with the great famine of 1315-1317. Heavy rains resulted in destroyed agriculture which led to starvation. The famine had killed an estimated 10% of the European population. Some historians argue that the famine led to malnutrition which made people more susceptible to disease. This would have made it possible for the Black Plague to spread. The Black Plague killed off 25-50% of Europe's population. It was said to have been spread by fleas on rats that came from the Mongols, along with trade, and human everyday interaction. The European towns were completely infected with the plague. Some small villages and towns were even entirely wiped out. Because of the many deaths, streets were filled with corpses and sick people. Music and art changed from enjoyable to mourning. The plague became the worst epidemic known to history. The plague led to peas...


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...ce it became hard to find. The peasants and workers were being paid more; however, they were also being taxed heavily by the government. This became another factor to the peasant's revolts. The Hundred Years War caused political problems between France and England. Territories were being "shared" in different countries; lives and land was lost because of it. Lastly, there was a power struggle between the Pope and the French Monarchy. The church began to grow apart from the people when Clement V moved to Avignon where the papacy ruled the church for seventy-two years. This made the Christian people feel excluded from the church. Also, the Great Schism caused Christians to abandon the church, since there were three popes ruling the church at one time. Altogether, Europe faced much social, economic, political, and religious devastation in the 13th and 14th centuries.



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