The High Middle Ages

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During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Europe was marked by the ongoing passing of the culture that was believed to be “medieval”. In the existence of the High Middle Ages, European Civilization had reached a highpoint of development. After the 1300’s, the nature of civilization during the High Middle Ages saw a period of change. In both thought and art, an inflexible formalism substituted the inventive forces that had given the Middle Ages such distinctive ways and means of expression as scholasticism and the Gothic style. Both economic and social advancement brought forth depression and societal conflict, with peasants’ revolts which showed a sense of uncertainty. The Church government in Rome experienced a loss of stature, …show more content…
In the original period, which lasted from about the fifth through the eleventh century, Christianity and Roman Catholic religion quickly spread throughout Western Europe. The beginning of feudalism in the tenth century delayed the development of the church’s organizational structure controlled by the papacy; however, later in the eleventh century, the church became the most influential institution in Western Europe. The period of the papacy’s ultimate power, the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, reached its peak with the pontificate of Innocent III, who exercised his influence over kings and princes without challenge. The church then seemed irrefutable in its prestige, dignity, and power. Clegg & Reed said “Yet that strength quickly came under new attack, as over the next two centuries, the processes of disintegration gained in influence. Papal power was threatened by the growth of nation-states, which tested the churches temporal power and authority” (261). Combined with some of the local clergy, rulers opposed papal intervention in state matters and favored the formation of general church councils to reduce papal power. In addition, the reformers criticized the papacy, who had seen earlier reform movements and the crusaders alter their original high-minded purposes to suit the ambitions of the popes. The bourgeoisie also affected the reform of the papacy whose realistic outlook was adopting growing skepticism, national patriotism, and …show more content…
Boniface threatened to overthrow the “irreligious king,” as he called Phillip, but gave way when Phillip, with the help of the Estates-General, forbid the export of money to Rome. A last and degrading clash with the French king had long-term effects for the papacy. Boniface boldly acknowledged in the papal bull, Unam Sanctum (1302), that “subjection to the roman pontiff is absolutely necessary to salvation of every human creature” (Leff 42), Phillip commanded that the pope be tried for his “sins” by a general church council. In 1303, Phillip’s henchmen broke into Boniface’s home at Anagni to arrest him so he could stand trial in France. The plot to kidnap Boniface failed, as he was rescued by his friends. Boniface died one month later from what some say was the shock and physical abuse that he experienced from the

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