The Period Of The Middle Ages Essay

1028 Words Nov 13th, 2015 null Page
In the high middle ages, Europeans celebrated a number of victories. The increased lay religiousness created a widespread sense of scholasticism. New roads and bridges were being built in Europe to make trade easier. The expansion of the European economy in the 13th and 14th centuries lead to an increased prosperity--- shifting interest and focus on what was becoming a new middle, merchant class. This emphasis on a newly-powerful group of people, though, was a catch-22. The medieval papacy, which had once been a dominant force in society, doling out prizes and punishments to its obedient followers, was forced to step back from power, humbling itself to a new, arguable more independent society.
In his lifetime, Marco Polo (1254-1324) penned a book detailing his excited adventure in the far East. “His descriptions of the fabulous wealth of the orient fired up new adventures” (Rosenwein, A Short History of the Middle Ages) The possible wealth enticed European nations and sparked several journeys of their own. “The first ships to ply the Atlantic waters in regular trips were the galleys of Genoese entrepreneurs” (Rosenwein, A Short History of the Middle Ages). At the same time, in the Mediterranean, Majorca began sailing its own ships out to explore. In the 1280’s, around the same time, places like Genoa, Venice, Majorca and Catalonia were creating trade routes in southern Europe. Founded by Lubeck, the Hanseatic League was constructed of German merchants with common…

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