The Late Middle Ages: Social and Political

Chapter 1
“The Late Middle Ages: Social and
Political Breakdown”
Europe in 1300
Chapter 1:
The Black Death
The Hundred Years
The Great Schism
Black Death Vulnerability
A. Severe weather “The Little Ice Age” = price inflation
1. ¼ of all harvests were poor
2. caloric intake
a) susceptibility to disease
b) productivity = prices
3. Social Consequences
a) in homeless people
b) in marriages and pop.
c) in crime
d) anti-Semitism
4. Solutions?
a) Gov’t disorganization, failure to
work as a Eu community
“…father abandoned child, wife abandoned
husband, one brother abandoned another,
for the plague seemed to strike through
breath and sight. And so they died. And
no one could be found to bury the dead,
for money or friendship.”
~ observer of the Black Death in 1346
The Crimea
Genoa, Italy
The Black Death 1347-1350
A. The Causes
1. improved ship design =year round shipping
a) shipboard black rats on the move
b) from China? The Crimea? to Italy
2. malnutrition
3. poor public, personal sanitation,overcrowding
B. The Spread
1. bacteria live in stomach of fleas, then rats
2. bubonic – transmitted by flea
3. pneumonic – transmitted by person
C. The Symptoms
1. boils (buba) on the neck
2. internal bleeding, coughing
3. horrid stench
“All the matter which exuded from their
bodies let off an unbearable stench;
sweat, excrement, breath, so fetid as
to be overpowering; urine thick,
black or red.”
-French Scientist
“The Dance of Death”
D. Effects
1. 33% of Europe’s pop died – 60 million
2. Economic inflation
a) production prices
b) temporary in per capita wealth
3. Religious extremism
a) flagellants – believed the disease
was God’s punishment
4. Religious questioning, suspicion
5. Anti-Semitism
6. Mass graves
7. Universities and medical knowledge
8. Cultural cohesion, internationalism
E. The End of The Black Death
1. 1721–last appearance in Eu, 1947- vaccine
Europe in 1300
III. The Hundred Years’ War 1337-1453
A. Embodies the struggle b/t Eng and Fr monarchies
B. Causes – see graphic
1. expansionist Fr vs. Eng rights to
the duchy of Aquitaine
2. Eng and Fr kings stir up nationalism
C. Fr Victory
1. Eng see successes early
2. 1429 - peasant girl Joan of Arc claims
divine inspiration and leads Fr
3. 1431 – captured, charged w/heresy, burned
at the stake
D. Consequences
1. disarray, loss of pop, higher taxes
2. growth of nationalism in Eng and Fr
IV. Decline of the Roman Catholic Church’s (RCC) Prestige
A. The Middle Ages’ RCC = “plentitude of power” both
spiritual and secular
1. The Crusades of the 1200’s
2. Excommunication for heresy
3. Unam Sanctam – a monarch’s power depends on
papal approval
4. Indulgences – paid pardon of sins
B. 1309-1376 - Babylonian Captivity
1. Pope Clement V
- weak, sick
- at Philip the Fair’s request, moves papacy to
Avignon, Fr
2. corruption, greed, luxurious papal living follow
3. loss of papal connection and economic decline in
The Great Schism
C. The Great Schism 1378-1417
1. 1377 – Pope Gregory XI returned papacy
to Rome, city is in shambles, dies
2. The Great Schism = Cardinals can’t agree on pope
a) Pope Urban VI (an Italian)
b) Pope Clement VII (a Frenchman)
3. Fr recognizes Clement, Eng Urban
a) Eu confusion and loss of faith for many
“Which pope is legit?”
b) increase in heresy, reform movements
- Conciliarists – people give power to pope
- Padua - RCC was subordinate to state
- Wycliffe –papal power has no basis “Lollards”
4. 1417 – The Council of Constance
a) Cardinals agree to unify, reform, stop heresy
b) the pope, like all men, are subjects of God,
decreases political power of pope
Execution of Jan Hus
Execution of Jan Hus
Jan Hus was burnt at the stake in 1415. Hus denounced superstition, the sale of indulgences,
and other abuses by the church. He went into exile where he continued to dispute papal
authority. In 1413 the emperor Sigismund urged the calling of a general council to end the
Great Schism. Hus was invited and assured safety. Instead he was arrested, executed, his
teachings banned, and his books burned. In 1990, the date of his execution was declared a
Czech national holiday.
V. Ru’s Romanov Tsars
1. 500-1100 – E. slavs ruled by Byzantine Empire, Ru
influenced by this culture
2. 1200’s – Ghengis Khan and his Mongol Horde
conquered Asia, some of Byzantine Empire, Ru
a) this left Ru less advanced than W.Eu
b) Tsar Ivan III grows wealthy enough
to cease payments to Mongols