Continuity & Change Over Time (CCOT) Essay Europe 600-1750
Taylor Question: analyze the social and economic continuities and changes that occurred in Europe between 600 and 1750.
During the time period between 600 and 1750, economic and social continuities and changes impacted Western Europe immensely. One particular economic alteration was the decline of feudal manoralism, prevalent in the early medieval era, as a result of the restoration of commerce following the Crusades. Another major change was the socioeconomic impact of the Age of Exploration circa 1500, which would establish European Hegemony. While economic transforma-tions occurred throughout Western Europe, the influence of the Roman Catholic Church was continuous despite fluctuations in its authority.
After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 CE, Western Europe became divided into the Germanic Kingdoms that characterized the Middle Ages. Trade languished during this time as a result of the constant warfare (feuds) and political instability that ensued after the fall of Rome. For this reason, self-sufficient manors managed by local warlords developed. Rigid social stratification defined the period with a hierarchy comprised of Kings, Noblemen, Knights and peasantry. Socially, living conditions were unfavorable, and the Black Plague ran rampant devastating the European populace circa 1350. Between 1100 and 1300, Western Europeans embarked upon a series of religious quests against Muslims, known as the Crusades. European soldiers fighting in the Middle East were intrigued by foreign goods and the Muslim preservation of long forgotten Greco-Roman ideals. Amazed at such riches and ideas, they returned home to introduce and expose Western Europeans to what they had discovered. As a result, commerce was resumed and interregional trade networks were created to obtain foreign “luxury” goods that were at increased demand. Fortunately the war had forged European contacts with the Middle East...
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