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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
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During this time, invasion by foreigners was common, and one especially strong example of this was that of the Germanic tribes. In Western Europe, the warring Germanic tribes fought for possession of territory and power, while in the East a semblance of the Roman Empire remained, known as Byzantine to historians, but with many strong similarities to the empire.
A good society must not threat it’s inhabitant in any way and should enable them to live in harmony with each other. A good society must also give opportunity to its members to flourish and develop personally and professionally. They should be provided with a healthy environment to sustain and should be given freedom to participate in political processes.
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Leprosy, or Hansen’s disease, is an extremely debilitating disease which has been prevalent since ancient times. In the Middle Ages, leprosy was a serious problem which elicited unique social and medical responses, the disease was considered to be the outward manifestation of inner moral degeneration.
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I spent my life traveling around the Mediterranean Basin selling wares and thus learned many of the languages of this area which bestrides both Christendom and Islam. The following are excerpted entries of my personal diary. May they teach you something of my life
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