Middle Ages European History

Middle Ages European History

MiddleAges European History

TheEuropean Middle Ages refer to the period of European history between800 and 1500. Personal status was the main basis used to rebuild theEuropean community from the challenges it had faced in the Dark Age.All members of the society were divided into three categories namelythe warriors, the worshippers and the workers, with the majoritybeing workers. This delegation of duties was done using law andcustoms. This paper seeks to deliver a summary of the major eventsin European history during this period.

Anestimated 90% of the European population in Western and EasternEurope worked on the land they occupied. They worked in the fields,orchards and woodlots to earn a livelihood for their families. Theirwork was labor intensive and not very productive. They facedchallenges like climate. For instance, climate restricted the framersin Northen Europe from working on their farms for more than half ofeach year.

Onhuge farms, the work was done by millions of peasant farmers,referred to as serfs. They had replaced slaves on most farms inEurope. The biggest factor behind the end of slavery in Europe aroundthis time was pressure from the Christian Church, which greatlyopposed the enslaving of their fellow Christians. However, just likethe slaves before the serfs had their freedom restricted in differentways. Even though they could not be sold and bought as slaves, theywere confined to a given area and a given occupation by thesupervision of their Lord.

Medievalagriculture became steady and more productive in the Middle Agesafter the introduction of the iron-tipped plow after 1000 combinedwith the use of animal manure as fertilizer. The only factor thatreduced this productivity was the fallow system that rendered almosthalf of the farm land uncultivated each year. Urban workers were veryfew, divided by income and social status. Shopkeepers and craftsmenled the lot, with semi-skilled, unskilled and casual laborers at thebottom of the urban workers ranking.

Menand women of worship were as important as the warriors as at this agepeople who prayed for others were deemed very essential. Theyincluded parish clergy and monks. The monks were more in number and,therefore, were considered to be more important than parish clergy.The monks lived separately from society in places known asmonasteries. Initially, monks and nuns came from prestigious familiesuntil the twelfth century when most of them came from middle-classhouseholds. The worshippers had much wealth, but they still used itfor the benefit of society. They founded and ran hospitals,orphanages, asylums, and scholarships for the poor.

Thewarriors in Europe made up 2 to 3% of the population. They enjoyednobility that came with various privileges because they were rankedhigher than civilians. Nobility was hereditary but later it becamepossible to buy the status. Women born into noble families wereequally noble as the men. The nobles greatly valued land as wealth. Their duties were military in nature, being soldiers, guardian orjudges though this changed later in the 13thcentury.

Thefourteenth century of the Middle Age saw a couple of disastershitting Europe. These included the Black Death and the Hundred Years’War. The Black Death was caused by a plague that was believed to bean Ebola-like hemorrhagic fever or a form of anthrax. After the firstcase, it spread to almost all of Europe in about two years. Due tothe small development of the medicine and health care fields, theplague had a very high death on the continent, by estimate killingtwo in every three victims.

TheMiddle Age in Europe marked various developments in the continent.European citizens were divided into workers, worshippers, andwarriors based on their roles and the laws of the time. Inventions inagriculture such as the iron-tipped plow and the use of animal manureas fertilizer led to increased agricultural production. There weresignificant developments in the economy and religion, including theend of slavery and rise of a social class of urban workers.