Changes in Thought Between 1301 and 1350

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Changes in Thought Between 1301 and 1350 The time between 1301 and 1350 was a very chaotic period in human evolution. All factions of society were undergoing turbulent changes, which had a profound effect on society. During the latter part of the 13th and early 14th century there was an increase in the amount of cultivable land, thus production of crops was greater. The extra profit from these crops allowed former slaves to have enough money to buy their freedom and try to make a living on their own. Mostly uneducated, the slaves would eventually return to what they knew best, which was farming. The former slaves would be given a small piece of land by the lord of the manor in return for a portion of their crops. These people formed a new social class known as serfs. They were low on the social ladder, only a step above the slaves, but they were free men. The threat of war always loomed ominously on the horizon and the serfs were defenseless against the roving armies of looters and pillagers. These serfs were forced to hand over even larger amounts of their crops in order to receive protection from the more powerful lords. The serfs were left with little or no money and without enough food to support themselves or their families. Their outlook shifted from looking towards a brighter future at the beginning of the 14th century, to a struggle for mere survival by the middle of the century. Prior to the early 14th century the society revolved around the church. Government, trade, and learning were all regulated by the church; thus all thought was strictly controlled by the church. The church then was similar to the modern day Mafia in its ties with government. If a church official did not like or agree with a politi... ... middle of paper ... ...ple were in such close quarters with rats they could not avoid being bitten by the fleas, thus becoming infected with the plague. The people of this time entered the 14th century with reasons to be optimistic. Life was getting better for all classes of society. The effect of the plague and the wars put a stop to much of the progress which was occurring and postponed further advances in society for many years. Bibliography: 1.Bishop, Morris The Middle Ages. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1968 2.“End of Europe’s Middle Ages” Online. Internet. 9 December 1999. http://www.ucalgary.ca/HIST/tutor/endmiddle/thought.html 3.“Some Important Events in the Fourteenth Century” Online. Internet. 9 December 1999 http://www.siue.edu/CHAUCER/14thcent.html 4. “Western Philosophic Thought ( Ancient and Medieval Periods) Online Internet. 5 December 1999

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