to syllabus

Unit 12:  Medieval Europe in Crisis. 


QUIZ will be on Key Terms in Hunt, p. 503.


Questions on Hunt

Ch. 13 (pp. 467-503)

1.  How and why did warfare change in the 1300s and what about the Hundred Years' War demonstrates this?  And while we're on the subject, what were the main political results of that war?   

2.  Where and when did popular rebellions break out in Europe in the 1300s and what did all these rebellions have in common?  (Were there common causes of popular anger and discontent in all these situations?)   

3.  In what ways did political developments in Central Europe differ from the pattern in Western Europe in the 1300s, and how did this compare to political changes in Lithuania, Poland, Spain, and the Byzantine Empire in the same period?

4.  What was the Plague, why was it so devastating in the 1340s, and did anyone benefit from its results?  Explain.  

5.  In the early 1300s, who in the Catholic clergy was arguing for the reduction or limitation of the Pope's power and why?  And while we're talking about the Pope, why were there actually three popes at the same time in the early 1400s?  What was the (second) Great Schism????

6.  What were the most influential popular religious movements that challenged the authority of the Papacy in this period, what about these movements posed a threat to the Catholic Church, and how did the Church respond?     

7.  How did the compounded crises of the 1300s affect family life, the poor, and the economic behavior of merchants? 

BIG QUESTION:  Think about the entire chapter.  Consider this statement:  The multiple crises of the 1300s (famine, plague, war, conflicts in the Church, the breakdown of established economic patterns, etc.) created conditions that encouraged the use of vernacular literature and Humanism, and therefore helped begin the Renaissance.  What evidence in this chapter would support that statement?


Questions on Lualdi

We will focus on one document for this unit:  Thomas Walsingham, "Peasant Rebels in London" (pp. 226-229)

Answer the "Six Questions" for this document:

OK.  Here are the main discussion questions for this document:

1.  For Walsingham, who were the good guys and who were the bad guys in the story of this rebellion? 

2.  Walsingham describes the rebels as "madmen," but was there a rational pattern in the rebels' choice of who and what to attack, and what does this tell us about their goals? 


Questions on Abreth

 We will discuss the Preface and Part One of this book in class (pp. vii-ix, pp. 1-7).  You will need to read the rest of the book on your own for the final exam.

On p. viii, Abreth explains why he has limited this book to the years 1348-1350.  So, why did he do this?

In the preface, Abreth explains how the chapters in the body of the book are organized.  So, what can you expect to find in the chapters in Part Two of the book?

When did people start calling the Plague "the Black Death," and was the 1300s the only time this disease has spread among humans?

Where in Europe did the Plague strike in the 1300s, and how high are historians' recent estimates of the mortality rate (the percentage of the population that died) as a result?

Abreth mentions three different ways historians have interpreted the significance of the Black Death.  The most traditional of these is that the Black Death was a turning point in European history that led to a "sudden and violent" break with the past.  He mentions two other interpretations, the "revisionist" view and the "postrevisionist" view.  What have the "revisionists" argued about the Plague, and what do the "postrevisionists" argue?

What is Abreth's main point about how medieval people understood the causes of events like the Plague and what is his main point about the difference between "our" world view and that of medieval Europeans?