WK 11


each of you will be assigned to one of four groups, and you need to answer the questions for that group.



1.  What was the Babylonian captivity and how did it affect the power of the Pope and the clergy? (explain)

2.   In the early 1300s what events weakened the powers of the King in England before the 100 Years War? (explain)

3.   What were the three major groups competing for political power in Italy’s cities in the early 1300s, and why did most cities (Milan and Mantua, for example) end up under the power of “signori” (“tyrants”)?  (By the way, does this sound familiar?  Think back to the week we discussed Greek city states!)

4.   What sorts of problems had been weakening the population of Europe in the decades before the Black Death?  Also, when the Black Death did hit in the 1300s, about how many people did it kill?

5.   In the subsection on France, England, and Scandinavia, the authors say that the fate of the monarchy in England was “quite different” from that in France in the 1400s, yet that same section of the text also seems to point to similarities (like the use of patronage networks).  SO, what really was different between the way that Kings ruled in France and England in the 1400s?



1.   What was the Great Schism and how did it affect the power of the Pope and the clergy? (explain)

2.  What events in France in the early 1300s led towards war?  (explain)

3.    What factions were involved in conflicts and competition over who should have political rights as citizens in the Florentine and Venetian republics in the late 1200s and 1300s, and what forms did these conflicts take?  (Were they always peaceful?  Were they always violent?  Explain.)

4.   Many people sought religious explanations of the causes of the Black Death—what kinds of religious explanations of the Plague were offered in the 1300s and what kinds of religious behaviors (and prejudices) can we see as responses to the Black Death?

5.   What was the main difference between the forms of political power that took shape in Poland-Lithuania and in Russia (Muscovy) in this period, and how do the authors explain the differences between the governments and cultures of these two Eastern European states?


1.   What did the Lollards (the followers of the teachings of John Wyclif) believe, what did Jan Hus and his followers (the Hussites) in Bohemia believe, and did the Church approve?  What were the results?  (Be sure to read through the end of the section on Heresy and the Council of Constance!)

2. Historians divide the 100 Years War into 4 stages.  What characterized each of these four stages?  (What kind of military operations marked the 1st stage; what sorts of political unrest “on the home front” in Paris and in England marked the 2nd stage; who seemed to be winning the war in the 3rd stage; and who won in the 4th stage?

3.  How did the Medici end up in power in Florence, and did the rule of the Medici really differ much from that of the signori in other city states?

4.  In the long run, did the horrible disasters of the 1300s (the 100 Years War, the famine of the early 1300s, the Black Death, etc.) destroy trade patterns in Europe and ruin the merchants and bankers of Italy, France, the Germany states, etc.?  Explain.

5.   The authors say that what had been the Byzantine Empire (the empire of the Ottoman Turks) saw the most significant changes in all of Europe in this period—what happened in the former Byzantine empire and what made the Ottoman empire so strong?


1.  The election of Martin V ended the Great Schism:  what result did this long crisis in the Church have on the powers of the Papacy?  (In particular, how did it change the relationship between the Pope and the Cardinals and the relationship between the Papacy and the lay rulers of the governments of Europe?)

2. Who was Joan of Arc, how did her story affect the course of the war, and what happened to her?

3.   What were the Habsburg-Valois Wars about and how did they end?   ALSO, what was the deal with Savonarola???

4.  Some historians argue that the standard of living of ordinary people (peasants, laborers, skilled artisans) actually improved in the long run as a result of changes brought by the Black Death.  What evidence in the sections of the text on “the rural economy” and Patterns of economic life” would support that argument?

5.  When Ferdinand and Isabella created a “united” Spain, Catholicism became crucial to what it “meant” to be Spanish.  What are some examples of the policies followed in Spain that enforced religious “purity”?