close
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

The Middle Ages: Essential Time to The Rebirth of Europe

downloadDownload printPrint

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

Get custom essay

121 writers online

blank-ico
Download PDF

Introduction

The Middle Ages was the era from Rome’s collapse to the start of the Italian Renaissance, but it starts about 476 and lasts for 1000 years as we get into the 14th and 15th centuries, also famous as the “Dark Ages”. The term Dark Ages was coined by an Italian scholar named Francesco Petrarch. It suffered the loss of two separate empires (Roman and Byzantine) and failed to recover from their defeats. Generally speaking, the Middle Ages are divided into three main sections, the early Middle Ages, from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to about the year 1000. The high Middle Ages, which was a high trend for the Middle Ages in Europe moving from about what the year 1000 to the year 1300, and then the late Middle Ages, which gets us to the 15th century and it is not considered as good as living in Europe.

2. Main Theme

The Early Middle Ages (500 – 1000)

Key Events:

  • End of the Roman Empire
  • The Rise of Islam
  • The rule of Barbarian Kings.
  • Charlemagne creates the Carolingian Empire.
  • Europe was terrified by waves of invaders.
  • The emergence of Knights and Feudalism.

The Roman Empire falls in 476 AD. With the fall of Rome, Germanic people started to move in and overrun lands once occupied by the Roman Empire. By 500 AD, the Western Roman Empire had been replaced by a number of German kingdoms. Constant fighting disrupts trade and government; people abandon cities. Knowledge of the Greek language and culture is almost completely lost. Germanic people were constantly at war. Wars continually change borders between kingdoms. During this time of upheaval, the Church continues to grow and offers security. Just one Germanic kingdom, the Franks kingdom, proved to be a lasting one. Clovis, a strong military leader of about 500AD, set up the empire. Clovis, like other Germanic tribes, was able to unite the Franks into one kingdom. In fact, Clovis was the first Germanic king to convert to Christianity. Christianity had started as an obscure Jewish sect. 24 years after the fall of western Rome a religious leader was born in Saudi Arabia whose vision would challenge the Christian worldview. Islam appears in 622. The Islamic Holy Book (The Quran) was the final authority on faith and lifestyle for the followers of Islam. Islam is a monotheistic religion. Although the Quran mentions both Mary and Jesus respectfully it states that Jesus was another prophet (and not the Son of God or divine).

A German prince called Charlemagne was the Grandson of Charles Martel. Charlemagne was eager to unite Europe’s numerous kingdoms. He was famous for his athleticism and intelligence although like most leaders he was illiterate. He embarked on more than 50 military campaigns beginning in 774. In 779 Pope Leo III was driven out of Rome by an angry mob (who was angered by his ‘common’ birth and accused him of adultery and perjury!). To defend the Pope, Charlemagne sent an army. In return, the grateful Pope named Charlemagne the head of the “HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE”. The largest empire since the Roman Empire was the empire of Charlemagne (known as the CAROLINGIAN EMPIRE).

For the first 500 years of the Middle Ages, there were NO large castles or ‘Knights in Shining Armor’. These developed in response to three waves of invasions that were so terrifying, that they completely changed how Medieval Society was organized. The waves of invaders and raiders during the 800s and 900s made central control of Europe very difficult. A system based on local power and loyalty emerged. This was known as FEUDALISM. Feudalism means a socio-economic system based on land ownership by a few wealthy people. Age of Feudalism is when Europe broke up into 3 separate kingdoms (France, Germany, and Italy). The most prominent features of feudalism were the nobles, knights, serfs, and crusades.

The High Middle Ages (1000-1300)

Key advances:

  • The wave of invasions stops.
  • The Holy Roman Empire, France, and England begin to build their kingdoms.
  • The Crusades begin.
  • Universities emerge.
  • Political stability leads to economic growth and larger towns and cities.

During the early Middle Ages German tribes such as the Angles, Saxons and Jutes invaded Britain. The name ‘England’ comes from Angleland (named after one of the German tribes). In 1066 William the Conqueror invaded from Normandy and defeated the English King Harold II. The Battle has been portrayed on the famous Bayeux Tapestry. William was crowned King on Christmas Day. William introduced a strong and efficient central government. During the High Middle Ages England would develop a Parliament and the radical concept that the law applied to the King. It would also wage a series of wars with another rising European power – France.

By the High Middle Ages, the church was the largest landowner in Western Europe. They also ran the majority of schools, hospitals, and orphanages. The church occasionally came into conflict with political leaders. The church usually won these conflicts. Growing concerns about corruption in the church (including the selling of Church titles by Monks for profit) led to sweeping reforms in this period.

The crusade was a holy war declared by the Pope who commanded the kings and nobles into a military expedition. Byzantine emperor Alexius I asks Pope Urban II for Christian knights to help him fight the Turks. Muslim groups were interfering with Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

The Late Middle Ages (1300-1500)

Key Events:

  • Climate change and famine
  • The Black Death
  • The Hundred Year’s War between England and France
  • The power of the church is challenged.
  • The end of the Middle Ages.

During the 1300s and 1400s, the temperature of Europe began to cool. This resulted in violent storms and unpredictable rainfall. Crop yields dropped dramatically. The worst years were 1315-1317. In most towns and regions 10 to 50 percent of the population starved to death. As trade had expanded in the 1300s Europeans had more regular contact with Asia. The Silk Road was the main route between Europe and China. Tensions occurred along this route between Europeans and the Mongolian tribesman (Mongols). Italian merchants at the city of Kaffa were besieged by the Mongols in 1345. The disease killing the Mongols was the Bubonic Plague. During medieval times there was no cure for this disease – and it was spread easily. Symptoms included large blisters called Buboes, high fevers, and delirium. The Late Middle Ages (1300-1500) had been a time of climate change, war, famine, and poverty. Despite these events, there were several reasons the period from 1500 was the beginning of Modern Europe.

3. Famous Personalities

Charlemagne (742-814) – He was an Emperor and King who brought most of Western and Central Europe under his reign by a variety of means including military conquest. 

William the Conqueror (1028-1087) – His Normans were the last foreign force to conquer what is now Great Britain. He was King (William I) He began this conquest with the famous battle of Hastings in 1066 and in subsequent battles mostly to repress revolts and uprisings.

William Wallace (Died 1305) – He is the figure now made very famous by the movie Braveheart. He was a Scottish knight and landowner who was a leading figure in the Scottish Wars for Independence.

4. Conclusion

The dark ages weren’t necessarily all that dark. In fact, at many points in history, they were filled with light. Many forget the victories but remember the tragedies. For there were many tragedies. Deaths, illnesses, wars, and punishment occurred, more horrible than most have seen. But out of those horrors came a new beginning, which proved that the horrible happenings were essential to the rebirth of Europe. The people had to rely on the church and the feudal system. For if they hadn’t a lot of modern-day cultures may have changed. As the people relied on the church, they began to form ranks and social statuses. These statuses became as important as money and land, knights, lords, and monarchs ruling over the peasants and serfs. No damsels in distress, fairies, dragons, knights in shining armor, or glorious palaces existed. The Medieval Times was truly fascinating but wasn’t just dark. It was also quite light and deserves to have its victories remembered as a reality, not just as the faraway fairytale that it is now known as. Some of the tales told today were a reality, some were mere legends, and a lot is yet to be confirmed.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

The Middle Ages: Essential Time to the Rebirth of Europe. (2022, July 07). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 16, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-middle-ages-essential-time-to-the-rebirth-of-europe/
“The Middle Ages: Essential Time to the Rebirth of Europe.” GradesFixer, 07 Jul. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-middle-ages-essential-time-to-the-rebirth-of-europe/
The Middle Ages: Essential Time to the Rebirth of Europe. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-middle-ages-essential-time-to-the-rebirth-of-europe/> [Accessed 16 Aug. 2022].
The Middle Ages: Essential Time to the Rebirth of Europe [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Jul 07 [cited 2022 Aug 16]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-middle-ages-essential-time-to-the-rebirth-of-europe/
copy to clipboard
close

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

    close

    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts

    close

    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.

    close

    Thanks!

    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!

    boy

    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Don't use plagiarized sources. Get your custom essay. Get custom paper
    exit-popup-close

    Haven't found the right essay?

    Get an expert to write you the one you need!

    exit-popup-print

    Professional writers and researchers

    exit-popup-quotes

    Sources and citation are provided

    exit-popup-clock

    3 hour delivery

    exit-popup-persone