Europe’s Transition from the
Middle Ages to the
Europe Today
What were the Middle, or Dark Ages?
-A period of European history between
the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D.
and the Renaissance which began in the 1400s.
Early Middle Ages: 500 – 1000
High Middle Ages: 1000 – 1250
Late Middle Ages: 1250 - 1500
Life in the High Middle Ages
(1000 – 1250)
Life in the Middle Ages
Manoralism =
Economic System
Feudalism =
Political System
The Medieval Manor
Life on the Medieval Manor
Serfs at work
To what extent were climate and disease
key factors in producing economic and
social changes?
Illustration of 1358 Jacquerie Peasant Rebellion in northern France
Pieter Bruegel’s
The Triumph of Death
The Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453)
The Hundred Years War
How did the war contribute to the end of feudalism in
• Soldiers earned wealth from pillaging…returned home
with new attitudes
• Countryside destroyed so large number of serfs migrated
to the cities
• Monarchs built huge armies with the taxes they collected,
which reduced the power of nobles.
• People became more patriotic, more devoted to the
monarch than their feudal lord… beginning of national
The Hundred Years War (1337 – 1453)
France becomes larger!
France in 1453
France in 1337
Analyze the shift in the prevailing religious culture by the
end of the Middle Ages.
The Role of the Church in the Middle Ages
• Only one Christian church…
The Catholic Church
• Church has own laws, land (1/3rd of all
land in Western Europe) , and taxes
(filled the power vacuum left from the
collapse of the classical world)
• People who disagreed with church
law, or criticized the church were
called heretics and were often burned at
the stake
• The Catholic Church is a very
powerful institution!
September from Tres
Riches Heures, early
A Medieval Monastery: The Scriptorium
A Medieval Monk’s Day
Medieval Universities
Oxford University
The Power of the Church
the Power of the State
Pope Boniface
Unam Sanctum
French King
Philip IV
Decline of the Church
• Boniface VIII and conflict with State,
− Unam Sanctum, 1302 - Bull issued that placed spiritual above the
temporal. Excommunicated King Philip IV of France.
− The Papacy at Avignon (1305-1377)
• Initiated by Pope Clement V
• Church administration improved
• Brought doubt to power of Church
• Great Schism – 2 popes as head of 1 church
− Papacy returned to Rome, 1378
− Pope Urban VI, 1378-1389 = Italian/English Support
− Pope Clement VII, 1378-14 = French Support
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The Great Schism (1378 – 1417)
Clement V
©2003 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Thomson Learning™ is a trademark used herein under license.
The Great Schism (1378 – 1417)
Gregory XI
The Great Schism (1378 – 1417)
• New Thoughts on Church and State and the
Rise of Conciliarism
− Marsiglio of Padua (1270?-1342)
− Defender of the Peace
− Denied temporal authority is subject to spiritual authority.
Greatest long term importance.
− Conciliarism – a general council should decide how to
end Schism and who should lead.
• Popular Religion in an Age of Adversity
− Performance of Good Works – ways to deal with Black
Plague and 100 Years War.
− Mysticism and Lay Piety
• Meister Eckhart - Union of the soul and God (basics of what
Mysticism is)
• Gerard Groote - Modern Devotion – imitate Jesus
− Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life
• Female mystics – Catherine of Siena
• William of Occam - Nominalism
− Only objects perceived by the senses are real
− Faith not reason
Trade and Commerce: Change the Foundations of Town Life
Towns were centers for trade and shipping
Luxury goods such as silk, spices, ivory and porcelain
could be bought in towns
Guilds (associations of people in the same trade or
craft) dominated social and civic life of towns
Guilds reflected importance of Christianity in towns
a) Contributed to building of Cathedrals
b) Adopted patron saints and sponsored parades in their honor
Trade and Commerce Change Town Life
Town Life During the Middle Ages
Towns were small because society was
based on agriculture and most people
lived in the country side
Nobles had most of the power
a) Lords owned the land where most towns
were located
b) Towns needed protection from the knights
that lords could provide
Status was determined by birthright
Urban Advances
Family Life and Gender Roles
Rise of Nuclear Family
Repression of Women
Care and Education of Children
Advances in Medicine
Medical Schools
Physicians – surgeons & barbers
Public Health & Sanitation
Inventions and New Patterns
Mechanical Clock
Eyeglasses – reading & paper
Gunpowder – war & defense
Use of the Vernacular
Chaucer, Petrarch, Pizan, Bocaccio
1. Black Death killed
one third of
Europe's population
Peasants revolted and
demanded more freedom
3. Hundred Years War allowed
monarchs to build huge armies and
reduce power of lords
4. People moved to cities to earn better
5. Status began to be determined by wealth
and ability, not birthright
Pope Gregory XI
returns papacy
to Rome
End of 1st major
plague outbreak
Years’ War
1315 – 1317:
Great Famine
in France
Black Death
reaches Europe
Joan of Arc
burned at the stake
Battle of
Great Schism
Battle of
The Greatest Extent of the
Roman Empire – 14 CE
The Legacy of Rome
Republic Government
Roman Law
Latin Language
Roman Catholic Church
City Planning
Romanesque Architectural Style
Roman Engineering
• Aqueducts
• Sewage systems
• Dams
• Cement
• Arch
Roman Roads:
The Appian Way
Imperial Roman Road System
Roman Aqueducts
Barbarian Invasions: 4c-5c
Europe in the 6th Century
A Medieval Castle in
Carcassonne, France
Parts of a Medieval Castle
The Road to Knighthood
Chivalry: A Code of Honor and Behavior
William the Conqueror:
Battle of Hastings, 1066
(Bayeaux Tapestry)
Evolution of England’s Political System
Magna Carta, 1215
 King John I
(r. 1199 – 1216)
 Runnymeade
 “Great Charter”
 monarchs were not
above the law.
 kings had to
consult a council of
 kings could not tax
The Beginnings of the British
 Great Council:
 middle class merchants, townspeople
[burgesses in Eng., bourgeoisie in Fr.,
burghers in Ger.] were added at the
end of the 13c.
 eventually called Parliament.
 by 1400, two chambers evolved:
o House of Lords  nobles & clergy.
o House of Commons  knights and
Medieval Trade
Medieval Guilds
 Commercial Monopoly:
 Controlled membership
apprentice  journeyman  master craftsman
 Controlled quality of the product [masterpiece].
 Controlled prices
Late Medieval Town Dwellings
The Crises of the Late Middle Ages
(1250 – Approx. 1500)
The Black Death
What was the Black Death ?
• Deadly plague that spread across Europe from
1346 – 1352
• Caused by a form of bacteria
• Appeared in three forms:
− Pneumonic: attacked the lungs
− Septicemic: appeared in the bloodstream
− Bubonic: caused buboes on the body
The Symptoms
Septicemia Form:
almost 100%
mortality rate.
The Black Death
How did the Black Death spread throughout Europe?
• Originated in Mongolia and spread to Black Sea
along Silk Road
• Bacteria carried by fleas who lived on black rats
• Italian merchant ships brought rats to Europe
along with trade goods
• First appeared in Sicily and eventually spread
The Disease Cycle
Flea drinks rat blood
that carries the
multiply in
flea’s gut.
Human is infected!
Flea bites human and
regurgitates blood
into human wound.
Flea’s gut clogged
with bacteria.
The Black Death
Why couldn’t people stop the spread of the Black Death?
• People were ignorant about its cause; they
blamed the stars, God’s anger, and the Jews
• They tried ineffective cures such as pomanders,
flagellation, and repentance of sins.
The Black Death
How did the Black Death change life in Europe?
• Killed one third of the population
• Forced farmers to diversify their crops
• Peasants revolted and demanded more
• Working class moved to cities to earn better
• Reduced the power of the feudal lords
The Hundred Years War (1337-1453)
What were the causes?
Question of French Succession
• French king Charles IV died in 1328
with no male heir
• Two men attempted to claim the vacant throne:
1. Edward III of England, nephew of Charles IV
2. Philip of Valois, regent of France
after the death of Charles IV
• French nobles preferred Philip
to the foreigner
The Hundred Years War (1337-1453)
What were the causes?
French Land Belonging to British Kings
• A longer standing
issue was the status
of lands within
France that
belonged to English
• Gascony, Brittany &
The Hundred Years War (1337-1453)
What were the causes?
Conflict Over Flanders (parts of Belgium, SW
Netherlands, NE France)
The ‘dagger’ pointing
at the ‘heart’ of
• Wool industry.
• Flanders wants its
independence from
French control.
• Asks England for help.
The Hundred Years War (1337-1453)
What were the causes?
French Struggle for National Identity
• France was
NOT a united
country before
the war began.
• The French king
only controlled
about half of
the country.
The Hundred Years War (1337-1453)
Phase 1
- Early British Victories
Phase 2
- Guerilla warfare by French king
- French king captured & ransomed
- Treaty of Bretigny
Phase 3
- English dominance
- French rally & eventually win
**Joan of Arc & Orleans
The Hundred Years War
How did the nature of warfare change?
• Longbows eliminated advantages of
armor (Could pierce an inch of wood or
the armor of a knight at 200 yards!)
• Cannons could be used to blast holes in
• Monarchs used armies recruited from
common people
• Pikes
The Hundred Years War (1337-1453)
King Henry V (ruled 1412 – 1422)
• Renewed his family’s
claim to the French
• At Agincourt in 1415,
the English, led by Henry
himself, baited a larger
French army into
attacking a fortified
English position.
− With the aid of the
dukes of Burgundy,
Henry gained control
over Normandy, Paris,
and much of northern
The Hundred Years War (1337-1453)
Height of English Dominance
The Hundred Years War
Who was Joan of Arc and how did she change the course of
the war?
• Young French peasant woman who was
inspired by God to save France
• Convinced Charles VII to let her lead an
army against the English in 1429
• Helped push the English armies out of
central France
• Was captured by the Burgundians (sided with
British), accused of heresy, and burned at the
stake in 1431; was sainted in 1922

Europe’s Transition from the Middle Ages to the …