PLAGUE, WAR, AND FAMINE: ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL

CRISES OF THE LATE MIDDLE AGES (ca. 1300-1500)

 

Late Middle Ages was “time of troubles” for Europeans:

 

1) Agricultural problems

        marginal lands too poor to farm

        weather colder and wetter (floods, famine)

 

2) Commercial crises

bank failures (Edward III repudiated debts in 1337; by 1346 every major bank in Florence had failed)

trade routes to East disrupted

 

3) Pestilence

        bubonic/pneumonic/septicemic plague; See http://www.insecta-inspecta.com/fleas/bdeath/Black.html

                danse macabre; flagellants

        consequences

                mortality ↑ 20-60%

                social mores ↓

                anti-Semitism

 

4) Wars

100 Years War (1339 – 1453) between England and France; Conflicts in HRE, Italy, Spain, Byzantine Empire


Economic and Social Consequences of Depression, War, and Plague

          1) Population        Wages                   Rents   

       

        2) Social unrest

                1358 Jacquerie

                1381 English Peasants’ Revolt

                1378 Ciompi Uprising

 

        3) Failure of feudalism and church to solve problems

a) change in military  technology and rise of nation-states

 

importance of feudal knight

 

b) crises in church

        Church affected by:

        -growth of national monarchies

                1296 Clericis Laicos

                1302 Unam Sanctum

                *Pope Boniface vs. King Philip IV

        -Babylonian captivity of Papacy

                (1305-78) RomeAvignon

        -Great schism  (1378-1415)

         Council of Constance → Pope Martin V

        -Growth of mysticism and heresy

                Meister Eckhart (1260-1327)

                John Wyclif (1330-84)

                John Huss (1369-1415)