The Crisis of The Late Middle Ages

  • Medieval Era
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

The period of time known as ''The Crisis of The Late Middle Ages'', occurred roughly between the 13th and 14th Centuries (AD) in Europe. The Crisis was punctuated by major changes in climate and politics – both of which had sub-sections which altered Society to such a point that the older ''status quo'' of Governing and subsequent Laws changed forever. The Breakdown of change was gradual but fast enough to influence later forms of societal change as a result. To illustrate, the following are generally accepted by Historians of all disciplines as:



Towards the beginning of the the 14th Century, Earth began to cool – leading to a period known as ''The Little Ice Age''. Temperatures would drop significantly throughout Europe to such a degree that seasonal crop farming was greatly affected. Food production was lessened leading to poor nutrition to the young and death to the old. Famines became more regular and longer lasting.



As a result of less food (or poorer quality of), coupled with primitive (at best) sanitation and medical treatments – large scale Pandemics began. The greatest of these – was The Black Death. Although Bubonic Plague was nothing ''new'' to the Ancient World, the strain of 1347 (lasting till 1351), was particularly virulent. Close to 200 Million in Europe would die. Other ''common'' health issues such as , Pneumonia, Malaria and others aided to these casualties.



Widespread panic and a lack of trust towards all forms of Government, would lead to Conflict with Commoners and their Rulers (Royalty). Without Monarchs will to even able to correct famines and disease, open rebellion was common during the 100 odd years period. The largest of such was The so named Hundred Years War (1337 to 1453). The Conflict between (mostly) England and France over claimed Monarchy to a combined rule of both Countries, would also add casualties, famines and more disease as a result.



The political and societal upheaval of The Crisis, would begin to erode an already decayed and corrupt Church. Supreme Authority between who was in overall control of a Nation (a Ruler or The Pope), led to splits within The Church (The Avignon Anti-Popes). More Wars and Political changes to the overall Medieval ''dynamic'' would lead the way to an eventual permanent split of The Church (Protestantism). It would also be the beginning of the erosion of The Holy Roman Empire and it's Emperor.


By the end of the 14th Century AD, changes were becoming apparent everywhere in Europe. Populations would adapt to the colder climate and regulate crop farming to reflect such. And while Monarchs maintained their often tyrannical control over their peoples, changes in political views and later Conflicts would completely change European Rule – more towards democratic Government bases. Advances in medical research and practices (while slow), advanced faster out of necessity. The need to colonize more broadly would also become vital.