Crisis of the Middle Ages

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Many things contributed to the crisis of the later middle Ages. There was inflation throughout the Northern Europe. Torrential rain ruined what little crops farmers had and caused a "great famine." Since many people had little to eat they were not able to receive vitamins and became very unhealthy. They became susceptible to diseases and death. Many villages became abandoned, since work could not be found people resorted to living on the streets. It was a vicious cycle and very hard to improve conditions.

The Bubonic Plague was first started in China or Russia but quickly spread to Western Europe. The results of the plague were that everything and everyone became frightened and confused. There was such over crowding in the cities that the plague reached everyone. The church made a decision that since so many people were dying and there was so little priests, that when dying they could confess their sins to one another. Some people believed that God was punishing them, so they joined groups of flagellants. There were too many bodies for each to have a separate funeral; bodies were often buried in massive graves. It also brought inflation, higher wages, and people that did survive the plague now lived a higher standard of life. Literature and art was even affected by the plague, they had a common theme of death and depression in their work.

The reasons for the hundred year war were that it became a French civil war and centralizing goals of the French crown. The conflict began when the direct line of succession died without a male heir and the nobles decided to pass the crown to a cousin, Philip of Valois. But this left two other male cousins equally deserving of the crown. The war also began over the economic factors. France and England both wanted to control the wool trade and Flemish towns. The war looked promising and was popular because it gave opportunities for wealth and advancement.
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