Economic Changes In Western Europe Essay

1130 Words 5 Pages
During the era between 500 and 1500, economic and social continuities and changes impacted Western Europe immensely after the fall of Rome, which inspired great change throughout the region, a negative impact known as the Dark Ages. Following the Crusades, the main result was the restoration of commerce, including the economic alteration of decline of feudal manoralism, prevalent in the early medieval era and the rising urbanization offering plebeians greater social flexibility and created innovation. While economic transformations occurred throughout Western Europe, the influence of the Roman Catholic Church was continuous despite fluctuations in its authority. After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 CE, Western Europe became divided into …show more content…
Once markets expanded, they created possibilities for production on a larger scale, which tended to increase output and to reduce the unit costs of production of many commodities by encouraging specialisation and the division of labour. With this prosperity and urbanization, there were numerous foundings of villages, markets, and towns, along with their expansion, along with increased settlement, particularly around east Germany and Central Europe. Within these expanding areas, the advance of the money economy showed, and this rise within the Staufen period within newly (re) settled regions reflects modernization, as the division of labour of labour and attitudes/values began to shift, and in combination with the greater freedom offered by the disappearing feudalism and rise of cities, people were suddenly offered a far greater social mobility. However, towards the end of the 11th century, there were increasing signs that agriculture could no longer supply the increased need for food for these people in this new, greater population density. The lack of …show more content…
During the feudal period, the church developed its strong authority due to the decentralized political nature of Western Europe. In this instance Christianity acted as a unifying force amongst the several divided kingdoms of the age. Upon entry into the Crusades in 1095, the Church’s influence was at its peak as European soldiers rallied in opposition to Muslim forces encroaching on Byzantine territory. Those who fought returned from the conflict to spark interests in worldly luxury products and thought laying foundation for the European golden age or Renaissance. Intellectual movements spurred by Renaissance thought led many to question the morality of the Catholic Church, specifically in regards to the sale of indulgences. Martin Luther, a Catholic monk, witnessed firsthand the lavish way in which clergy were allowed to live due to their increased secular power. He strongly disapproved of their practices and pursued reform through his 95 theses. The Church’s failure to comply with his proposals resulted in his decision to begin the Protestant Reformation. This division in the Catholic Church combined with an increase in monarchal authority temporarily decreased the church’s influence. Circa 1500, the Age of Exploration transmitted material goods as well as cultural and spiritual ideals. The Spanish conquistadors who conquered regions of Latin America instilled upon

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