A trend towards decentralization
Urban population gradually declines
Particularly in Western Europe, Roman laws stop being upheld. -
Urban elites gradually lose power to nobles, aristocrats, lords and local kings. -
People sought safety with local lords and kings, who provided better protection from “barbarians” and invaders than far away rulers -
The functional unit became the manor
The Church began to gain political power
The High Middle Ages were marked by political and religious squabbles -
One such conflict was the schism between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church -
The Crusades were both political and Religious in motivation. -
The first crusade was launched in response to an appeal by the Byzantine Emperor, requesting for assistance against the Muslims occupying the holy land. -
However, by the fourth Crusade, Western Europeans sacked Constantinople. -
The Schism of Avignon and failed crusades led to lessened prestige and power for the Catholic Church. There were controversies surrounding lay investiture.
The Magna Carta is signed by John “Softsword” of England in 1259, limiting the powers of a King -
The Crusades led to renewed interest in trade, and as such, re-urbanization. -
Kings began to lose power, and city states arose, starting in Italy. -
The 100 years war (actually a series of wars) sowed the seeds of French and English Nationalistic thought for the future, and split England from mainland France. -
Power began to shift back towards towns and cities, though lords and nobility held most of the power -
Constantinople was taken by the Ottomans in 1453
Mongol invasions and trade would lead to the spread of plague
Changes: The last remnants of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, fell to Muslim invaders. The Magna Carta had been signed by the end of the Middle ages, and it laid the groundwork for future documents and constitutions.
Continuities: Throughout the Middle ages, the Byzantine Empire gradually lost...
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