The Modern Era Of The Middle Ages Essay

The Modern Era Of The Middle Ages Essay

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Fire versus electricity, donkey carts versus cars, knights in shining armor versus G.I Joe’s. Middle Ages versus 2014. Compared to today’s standards the middle ages was a time of primitive hardship with back-breaking labor using crude equipment. However, when looked at in its historical context, the Middle Ages was actually an era of great technological advancement and industrial expansion that is now known as the Commercial Revolution. In their book Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel: Technology and invention in the Middle Ages, Frances and Joseph Gies inform readers of the great improvements brought about by the commercial revolution, the roles geography, and agriculture played in its establishment, and how these improvements set the stage for the Renaissance.
Taking place from 900 to 1200 A.D the commercial revolution was a surge in economic prosperity characterized by new technological inventions that produced higher quality goods and resulted in the industrial growth of towns and cities. One of the main contributors to the commercial revolution was agriculture. The increase of agricultural harvests resulted in a surplus of food, which lead to a population growth that from 700 A.D to 1200 A.D doubled from approximately 27 million to 60 or 70 million. This population explosion allowed for a greater division of labor as well as the addition and expansion of towns and cities. With more people able to fulfill non-food producing occupations the industrial progress of the middle ages skyrocketed. One of the most prosperous farming systems of the commercial revolution was the open field method where one field was left fallow for the year while the rest of the land was plowed and planted. The clearing of new farmland, the invent...


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...Latin, Arabic, and Spanish. Rediscovery of the scientific, philosophical, and mathematical findings of the ancient civilizations sparked a desire for knowledge and the advancement of learning that the Renaissance was known for. This intellectual revival was encouraged by the existing presence of a medical school founded in the eleventh century as well as cathedral schools which taught higher education.
Although, when seen through modern eyes the lifestyle of the Middle Ages seems primitive, it was in fact a time of incredible industrial, technological, and intellectual advancement. Had the commercial revolution never happened, the technological accomplishments of today’s society would never have been possible. Despite the many differences between the Middle Ages of yesterday and the modern age of today both eras have one thing in common: a view toward the future.

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