Revival of Trade and Commerce in the Middle Ages

Topics: Middle Ages, Roman Empire, Ancient Rome Pages: 5 (1920 words) Published: November 6, 2011
Western Civilization Final
The revival of trade and commerce during the middle ages impacted European Society in many ways but it is important to know how and what caused the revival of trade and commerce and then how it really changed the future European Society. First the rise of Christianity start brought a new phase of history. The end of the ancient world which was the beginning of the Middle ages. Three religions emerged from the fall of the ancient world, these were Latin Christendom, Byzantium, and Islam. The Byzantium civilization was by far the most advanced out of the three civilizations economically and culturally speaking compared to the Latin west. This was during the time were very few westerners could read and write, though Byzantine scholars studied the literature, philosophy, science, and the law of ancient Greece and Rome because that was their culture. Islam was the next civilization to come after the fall of Rome which was based on the religion of Islam which was founded by Muhammad. Neither of these two civilizations provided any major breakthrough in science, or technology, philosophy, art, or economics or political thoughts which would help bring the middle ages to the modern world. It was the Latin Christendom who did this even though they were so far behind Islam and Byzantium culturally at first until after the twelfth century. Latin Christendom produced movements which brought the modern age to such things as the Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution. It was in between the sixth and eighth centuries when the Europeans could barely recover from the chaos and disorder caused by the breakup of the Roman Empire. The Germanic kingdoms tried to bring back the roman civilization but they simply did not have enough political bases while fighting wars and having internal conflicts within their kingdoms. The Germans were strong warrior people and not really intelligent thinker types so they were unable to revive the already dead Roman Empire. When the Roman state and its institutions decayed is when Christianity and its churches gained power and importance. This cause more people to grow by great numbers. The church leaders were totally devoted to faith and provide a better view of life and death which made people believe they had a purpose. With so many member and influence the church was the only thing which could possibly reconstruct somewhat of a civilized life again. People saw themselves as participants in this great drama of salvation and all that mattered was God’s revelation to humanity. The church had a great system going on which made people believe the only way into heaven was through their membership and devotion to the church. This did not provide money or the ability to revive the one great trade of the past. The serfs whom were bound to the land made the lives people lived possible. The use of serfs begins in the late Roman Empire and again in the early middle ages. To be a serf meant the individual gave up their freedoms for protection, serfs were like slaves but they volunteered. It was not until about the end of the eleventh and beginning of the twelfth century did the revival of the economy showed. It was the invasion of the Magyars and the Vikings stopping which brought greater order. This brought an agricultural, and a commercial revolution, the rebirth of towns, and a dynamic middle class. The revival brought many new methods and inventions which began to be used very widely due to the increased productivity provided. A major innovation was what is known as the heavy plow, this plow cut very deeply into the soil and let farmers work much more quickly and efficiently. Not only did this help farmers work quicker but it also provided the ability to cultivate through the thicker and denser soil in northern Europe which was not possible with the light plow. Another agricultural advance was the invention...
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