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Growth and Development through the Upheaval of the Late Middle Ages - Essay Example

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The late Middle Ages was a time of tremendous upheaval and calamity, due to events such as the bubonic plague, which hit the population from 1348 to 1350, killing up to two fifths of the population. …
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Growth and Development through the Upheaval of the Late Middle Ages
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"Growth and Development through the Upheaval of the Late Middle Ages"

Download file to see previous pages This was only one of many devastating events that occurred in this time period and another critical event was the Hundred Years War (Kagan, Ozment and Turner 257). Both of these events caused substantial deaths within the population and may have made it seem like there was no hope. Despite this, the upheaval of the late Middle Ages did have some positive aspects, and overall created a positive outcome for the remaining population. The turbulence of the period resulted in a significant depopulation, easing the tension on citizens, decreasing rents and leading to the revitalization of cities. The population of Europe had developed extensively prior to the bulbonic plague resulting in a larger demand for food than could be produced. There were also not enough jobs, resulting in many people being unable to feed themselves or their families (Kagan, Ozment and Turner 258). The plague resulted in many deaths, which led to a significantly decreased labor supply. A smaller population decreased the demand for food and land, resulting in a decrease in rents throughout Europe. The changes in demand led to increased interest in expensive products produced through skilled industry. This resulted in a considerable development of skill in this time, and many people turned away from manual labor to be involved in skilled labor instead (Kagan, Ozment and Turner 258). Overall, the led to the population as a whole becoming more skilled, and to a greater desire for learning and the development of skills. Although both sides took heavy losses during the Hundred Year War, the war served to help develop a sense of destiny and national identity for the country and influenced the transition to a centralized state. The French had superior forces during the war. However, the English had superior firepower and a sense of national pride (Kagan, Ozment and Turner 265). Towards the end of the war, Joan of Arc became an important national figure for the French, leading to the liberation of Orleans from the English. Her victories were strongly due to the sense of hope and nationalism that Joan’s presence installed in the French people. Despite the devastation that the war brought to France, it led to the development of a strong sense of nationalism. This nationalism did not end once the war had finished, and it sped the movement of France away from a monarchy and towards a centralized state (Kagan, Ozment and Turner 266-267). A final aspect of the late Middle Ages that was positive was education, arts and humanism. All of these components have become an important part of our society today, yet they evolved within this time of death and despair. By the time the 15th century had ended, the deaths which had occurred earlier in the century were beginning to be made up for in births. The population was beginning to recover from the period of death and disease and there were substantial changes in the dynamics of the country. From 1300 to 1500 education had dramatically increased in accessibility, with fifty new universities being built in this period, as well as a large amount of residential colleges. Humanism and the printing press were also developed shortly after this period, undoubtedly as the result of advances seen within the late Middle Ages (Kagan, Ozment and Turner 279). These advances helped to pave the way for later developments throughout Europe, and played an essential role in the revitalization of Europe. For the people living within the late Middle Ages, the time was no doubt seen as one of death and despair, where there was little hope that the world would ever return to a good place. However, despite the number of deaths and the turbulence that surrounded this time period, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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