The Late Middle Ages Essay

The Late Middle Ages Essay

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The Middle Ages, often referred to as the Dark Ages, was regarded to be a time of despair, disease, and death. Just as the name the “Dark Ages” suggests, this period of European history seemed to be surrounded by darkness and hopelessness. Unfortunately, the majority of people only see this side of the Middle Ages when, in fact, the Middle Ages was a much more important era. Especially during the late Middle Ages, one can find a change in orthodox social structure, political instability mostly concerned with succession to the throne, and economic changes and how those changes went hand in hand with the change in society. After certain demographical changes and turning points such as the Hundred Years’ War, Europe began to transform drastically thus threatening traditional Europe. Therefore, unlike popular belief, the late Middle Ages was a time when absolute monarchy began to die and when social structure seemed to be flipping upside down due to drastic changes in economic practices.
Politics in the late Middle Ages is best described as instable due to competition for succession and power. The most significant event during this time period was the Hundred Years’ War, basically a territorial conflict and competition for succession between the king of England and the king of France after the Capetian monarchy crumbled. (Spielvogel 281) After the Hundred Years’ War, Europe was put under a period of adversity in terms of their political stability. In England, “Parliament increased in prominence” and even the king came to “rely on Parliament to levy new taxes.” (Spielvogel 285) The English monarch no longer had absolute power; he had a “commitment to levy no direct tax without Parliament’s consent.” (Spielvogel 285) In France, absolu...


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...came ever so popular during the Renaissance period.
Although many people regard the Middle Ages only as a period in history when time seemed to stop and all advancements seemed to be put on hold, it proves to be a vital piece of European history. Results from the Hundred Years’ War and other territorial or succession disputes crumbled centralized monarchy and gave birth to political administrations that can be seen present day, such as the Parliament. Additionally, the Black Death brought shortage of population and labor thus allowing peasants to grow in value and lords to fall in importance. Economical patterns began to change direction and encouraged the peasants to continue climbing up the social ladder as lords no longer had the power to do whatever they pleased. Accordingly so, the late Middle Ages proved itself to be a turning point towards modern Europe.

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