Western Europe's Changes and Continuities

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In the period 476 C.E. to 1450 C.E, Western Europe changed from feudalism and manorialism to urban centers and cities, and decentralization of government to the formation of centralized government and nations, while the role of the Catholic Church remained the same.

In 476 C.E, the Western Roman Empire came to an end when German troops invaded the area. Romulus Augustus, the last Roman Emperor, lost his position, but German leaders had truly been controlling the area for a while before the official date of the Roman Empire’s demise. The Franks took over what is now France while the Eastern Goths took over the western Balkans, Greece, and Italy. The Saxons conquered areas of southern England. Western Europe was heavily based upon the feudal system during this period in time. The feudal system was at its height after the death of the Carolingian Emperor, Charlemagne, when his successors split up the empire between themselves. Manorialism was also present during this period in time. The lord of a manor had control over the laborers that worked his land in exchange for access to the property. This system overall gave nobles and upper class clergy power in Western Europe. Government was decentralized since land was divided up between many nobles throughout a region, and areas lacked uniting forces such as one ruler or organized form of government. The Catholic Church was the one unifying factor of Western Europe, and had supreme authority. It offered the people of Western Europe stability in a time of political and social disarray.

Feudalism dominated Western Europe around 476 C.E. However, overtime urban centers and cities started to develop in place of the feudal system. Around the 8th century agricultural development and new technologies started taking place. The emperor of the Carolingian Empire Charlemagne actually thought of the idea to use a three-field crop rotation instead of a two-field crop rotation. This system allowed for a great surplus of food...
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