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The Crisis of the Later Middle Ages


The Crisis of the Later Middle Ages Chapter 12 By: Alex Pelkowski, LJ Sneider, and Cristin Monahan – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Crisis of the Later Middle Ages

The Crisis of the Later Middle Ages
  • Chapter 12
  • By Alex Pelkowski, LJ Sneider, and Cristin

The Apocalyptic Disasters of the Later Middle Ages
  • The Book of Revelations foretells the events that
    will occur before the Apocalypse. It predicts
    that the world will be visited by the Four
    Horsemen Famine, Disease, War and Death.

  • Between 1300 and 1450, Europeans
  • suffered a myriad of hardships, including
  • plague, war, economic disturbances, and an
  • increase in crime and violence. Its no
  • wonder that many Europeans believed that
  • the end was near!

The coming of the plague
  • It originated in the Gobi Desert, then quickly
    spread to western civilizations.
  • It was spreading from ships and land through the
    trade routes of the time.

Affects of the plague on the people
  • The people thought that this plague was an omen
    from God.
  • Flagellants were religious people that punished
    themselves because they thought it was a type of
    penance for their sins and their societys sins.
  • The people would burn incense to keep the smell
    of the dead away which was thought to have
    carried the plague.
  • Another protection against the plague was the
    people would use sound ring bells and gong to
    scare the plague away.
  • They started to stop eating meat and were told to
    sleep during the day to protect themselves from
    getting the plague.
  • They blamed the Jews for the coming of this
    horrifying plague and this started a massive
    slaughter of the Jews.

Affects on the Society as a whole
  • The plague caused a huge amount of deaths in the
    western civilization.
  • It is thought to be of about a third of the whole
    population was lost during this time.
  • With the great amount of deaths, the people would
    have no one to collect from and/or no one to do
    the collecting.

Economy during the later Middle Ages
  • The plague caused a massive inflation in European
  • This caused the employers to go on the defensive
    and came up with the Statute of Laborers in 1351.
    This allowed the parliament to freeze the wages
    of the laborers.
  • Many laborers have died which effected pretty
    much all the businesses because they had no one
    to work and no one to buy from them.

The Hundred Years War
Causes of the Hundred Years War
  • - In 1329, King Edward of England paid homage to
    King Phillip of France in order to gain the duchy
    of Aquitaine.
  • In 1337, Phillip confiscated the duchy of
  • Edward interpreted this act as a violation of the
    Treaty of 1259, which stated that the English
    king was a vassal of the French king in return
    for the duchy of Aquitaine.

  • The Hundred Years War was fought mostly in
    France, and consisted mainly of sieges and
    cavalry raids.
  • Perhaps the most famous figure who arose from the
    struggle was Joan of Arc, who helped the French
    recapture the city of Orleans.

The Hundredth Year
  • After the Battle of Orleans, the tide seemed to
    turn in favor of the French. They had
    reconquered Normandy and removed the English from
    Aquitaine by the wars end in 1453

Political Consequences of War
  • The war fostered the development of
    representative assemblies in England. Edwards
    constant need for money to wage his war made him
    summon barons and bishops, and also knights and
  • The Commons the knights and burgesses-
    realized that they held great economic power, and
    helped develop the parliamentary statute of 1341.
  • The statute stated that the king of England could
    not tax without Parliaments consent.

Social Consequences
  • In England, the loss of manpower had great social
    consequences. The knights who had served as
    sheriffs, coroners, jurymen, and justices were
    sent to war. This led to a breakdown of law and
    order in the individual towns of England. Crazy

Economic Consequences
  • The war was extremely expensive on both sides,
    but the hardest hit were the English. In order
    to pay for the mounting costs of war, the
    government raised taxes on the wool crop.
    Unfortunately, this plan backfired because the
    Flemish and Italian buyers could not afford
    English wool, leading to slumping wool exports.

The Great Schism
  • In 1378, Urban VI was elected the Pope of Rome.
    He sought to end many practices, such as simony,
    clerical extravagance, pluralism and absenteeism.
    These were the same issues that the common people
    complained about. However, he attempted to bring
    about reform in a tactless and hotheaded manner,
    and thus incurred the opposition of many bishops.

  • Bishops met secretly in Avignon and decided that
    Urban had only been elected because the had been
    threatened by the Italian mob, and thus the
    election was invalid.
  • Clement VII was elected as the antipope and
    operated out of Avignon. The Great Schism had

Popular Reaction
  • The common people, who were already struggling
    with wars, inflation and plague, had yet another
    issue to confront. Many were confused about
    which pope, Urban or Clement, was the rightful
  • The schism weakened the faith of many Christians,
    and also led to religious excesses and

New National Literature
  • Originally, the vernacular languages were only
    used by the common people while the upper classes
    conversed in Latin or other languages
  • In the 14th Century the vernacular began to be
    used in literature as the literacy rate among lay
    people increased
  • Laymen began to enter higher positions in
    government administrations, which required the
    ability to read and write
  • Three major works produced in this period were
    Dantes Divine Comedy, Chaucers Canterbury
    Tales, and Villons Grand Testament

  • The story was written in English, the vernacular
    language of England
  • English was the language of the common people
    the upper classes spoke French and Latin
  • The story depicted many different types of
    people, including priests, nuns, and everyday
    people, embarking on a pilgrimage to the shrine
    of St. Thomas Becket at Canterbury
  • It showed what life was like in 14th Century
  • The story portrayed the cultural tensions of the
  • All of the pilgrims, while Christians, were also
    materialistic and worldly, which showed societys
    concern for life in this world and a lack of
    concern for life in the next world

The Divine Comedy
  • Dante wrote The Divine Comedy in Italian this
    was the first major work to be written in Italian
  • It was an allegorical trilogy of 100 verses
  • It was divided into three even different parts to
    represent the three other worlds Hell,
    Purgatory, and Paradise
  • The story portrayed contemporary and historical
    figures, such as the Roman poet Virgil
  • The Divine Comedy commented on secular and
    ecclesiastical affairs, criticized some Church
    officials, and embodied the psychological
    tensions of the age

Grand Testament
  • Villons Grand Testament was written in French,
    which was considered to be the language of the
    poor and criminal
  • It possessed elements of social rebellion, bawdy
    humor, and emotional depth
  • It was more like a modern work of literature than
    a medieval one because it had a much more
    personal tone and an emotional depth than either
    the works of Chaucer, Dante, or any other
    medieval writer

Christine de Pisan
  • Christine de Pisan was an educated woman who
    wrote many books to support herself and her
    family after her husband died
  • She wrote The City of Ladies, which listed the
    great women of history and their contributions to
  • She also wrote The Book of Three Virtues, which
    provided practical advice for household
    management for women of all classes

Laws in the Frontier Regions
  • Many people moved in the 14th Century to avoid
    the Black Death
  • Race in the 14th Century was not biological,
    rather it indicated cultural differences
  • The chief marks of an ethnic group were language,
    customs, and laws blood descent did not matter
  • Native people out on the frontier regions
    remained subject to their own laws, while
    conquered people and minority groups had legal
    protection and lived in their own juridical
  • The only exception to this legal pluralism was in
    Ireland, where the Irish were oppressed by the
    English and forced to accept English laws and

The later middle ages saw a movement away from
legal pluralism with more emphasis on blood
  • People wanted church officials who spoke their
    own language and represented their culture
  • Competition for ecclesiastical offices and
    cultural divisions between townspeople and
    country people became arenas for ethnic tension
    and racial conflict
  • New laws were passed that discriminated against
    some groups while protecting others

  • In Ireland, a new law passed in 1217 forbade
    Irishmen to become bishops, only Englishmen were
  • In the Baltic and Slavic lands, the arrival of
    Franciscans and Dominicans from France and
    Germany created tension a new law was passed
    that forbid anyone to enter a monastery or
    convent if they did not have two Slavic parents
  • An economic recession in the 14th Century
    strengthened tensions
  • In the towns, there usually existed a large
    number of long-distance immigrants who differed
    greatly from the surrounding population
  • Guild regulations were explicitly racist there
    were protectionist laws for some groups and
    exclusionist laws for others
  • Intermarriage between ethnic groups was
    forbidden guild membership as well as
    eligibility for public office depended upon
    racial purity