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Western Civ.  Late Middle Ages
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Western Civ. Late Middle Ages


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  • 1. The Late Middle Ages A Period of Crisis
  • 2. The late Middle Ages experienced a series of crises that laid the foundation for the beginning of a “renaissance” across Europe .
  • 3. Four major areas of crisis   Food crisis- decline in agricultural production in some parts of Europe – poor harvests/ famine Crisis in the Roman Catholic Church- The Church struggled to maintain its power and authority in Europe   Health crisis - the spread of the bubonic plague  The Babylonian Captivity Black Death Political crisis - England and France fought over territory and political dominance on the continent  The Hundred Years’ War
  • 4. Agricultural Crisis       Periods of severe weather Crop damage and poor harvests Famine in some areas of Europe Disease and epidemics – poor nutrition Depopulation in some regions Unstable trade and economic development
  • 5. The Black Death   Arrived in Italy in 1347 Quickly spread across Europe       (followed the traditional trade routes) Disease was transmitted by fleas (living on rats) Over 1/3 of Europe’s population died Many believed that the disease was caused by “bad” air Some thought it was the wrath of God Others blamed the Jews
  • 6. The Plague Doctor
  • 7. Religious radicals- the flagellants sought to appease an “angry” God through self sacrifice physical acts of penance
  • 8. Macabre art reflected a profound pessimism and preoccupation with death
  • 9. Impact of the Black Death       Labor shortages – fewer workers Decline in production – inflation- rise in prices New job opportunities for those who survived Feudalism began to decline as new social and economic opportunities arose Growing Anti-Semitism – many blamed the Jews Pessimism and fatalism (macabre art)
  • 10. The Hundred Years’ War 1337-1453     Conflict between England and France Struggle over territory in France  French confiscated the English holding of Aquitaine Dispute over who could lay claim to the French monarchy  English king claimed to be the rightful king of France The English had several early victories –  Agincourt
  • 11.     Joan of Arc led the French forces to victory and was later captured and accused of being a witch by the English- executed England eventually lost the war and any claim to territory on the continent The war created tremendous debt and political turmoil in France and England Growth of nationalism
  • 12. Joan of Arc
  • 13. The Decline in the Power and Prestige of the Roman Catholic Church and Papacy  The Babylonian Captivity (1309-1376)  Papacy was moved to Avignon, France Came under the control of the French monarchy  Papacy was restored to Rome in 1377 by the reforming Pope Urban VI
  • 14. The papal court at Avignon, France
  • 15. Pope Urban VI returned the papacy to Rome.
  • 16. The Great Schism 1378-1417 Conflicts in the Church continued  Disunity and divisions caused many to question Church authority    Who was the rightful pope? The division served to highlight the growing decline in the power and prestige of the Church
  • 17. Early Church Reformers John Wycliffe, in England, challenged the scriptural foundations of the pope’s temporal power  Wycliffe also argued that everyone should read the Bible for himself/herself    Vernacular translations of the Bible emerged First English translation of the scriptures
  • 18. John Wycliffe 1330-1384- Early English reformer
  • 19. Wyclif- first English translation of Scripture
  • 20. John Hus – Bohemian (Czech) political and religious reformer martyred in Prague.
  • 21. The impact of the crises of the Late Middle Ages and the rise of the Renaissance  New economic and social opportunities  Economic growth     decline of feudalism expansion of trade and business- banking Growth of the middle class Growing interest in expanding knowledge and learning Greater willingness to challenge and question the power and authority of the Church Anti-Semitism continued