Europe's Economic Instability In The Middle Ages

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Though the Middle Ages may have seemed like a time of power and triumph, it was also a time of chaos and instability. Many events of the time period left Europe in disarray. Some of these events included the peasant revolts, the Hundred Years' War, the Black Death, the shift from monarchy to democratic governments, and the decline of the church. Though these events caused imbalance amongst the world, it did leave much room for improvement and lead to the emergence of a more modern economy, politics, and society. The economic instability of the fourteenth century was brought on by two factors. One factor was the Black Death, which ruined Europe by killing 19 to 38 million people in four years (Spielvogal, 276). But for laborers, there was an upside to this devastation. The demand…show more content…
Author Christine Di Pizan, used her book The Book of the City of Ladies to change society forever by standing up for feminism and equality against the male world (Spielvogel, 295). Society was yet again changed as tensions between classes heightened as peasants became fed up with society and their mistreatment. In France, the peasant revolt Jacquerie was caused by the ravages created in the Hundred Years' War, and the contempt by nobles over the postplague era. Finally peasants fought back destroying castles and killing nobles (Spielvogel, 279-80). In England, the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 was caused also by aristocratic frustration over the post plague era. English nobles used their power to subdue the peasant fortune through legislation. But the immediate cause to the revolt was the poll tax instated by the government. The peasants reacted and successfully fought back. To stop the madness, King Richard II accepted the peasant demands and eliminated the poll tax (Spielvogel, 280). Each of these instances ultimately changed the social structure of Europe and made way for the new modern, more equal way of

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