Middle Ages Economics Society And Politics Essay

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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 for jobs were high and many peasants enjoyed higher wages. As the need for jobs increased, the demand for agricultural produce declined, leaving the output prices very low. This left landlords and aristocrats to suffer great adversity and a lower standard of living (Spielvogel, 278). To try to bring Europe back to normalcy, the English Parliament passed the Statute of Laborers, which brought peasant wages back to preplague standards (Spielvogel, 278). The second factor was the Hundred Years' War between England and France. Both countries were forced to tax their people, especially peasants, to fund the war. This lead to many of the peasant revolts of the era (Spielvogal 285). Though both of these factors effected the economy greatly, they also played a heavy hand in politics. The politics of the fourteenth century were cursed with much instability. But these flaws set the path for the growth and improvement of England's political institutions. King Edward III's reign was very important for the evolution of English political institutions of the time period. During his reign, Edward began

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