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Despair In Feudal Europe

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Feudal Europe: A Time of Hope or Despair?

Following the collapse of the Roman empire, a chaotic period known as the Middle Ages began in Europe. Historians have widely debated as to whether this time was one of hope or despair. Despite the hope that came with a booming economy and population, the Black Death, anti-semitism and manorial system conclude that Feudal Europe was a time of definite despair.
The Black Death is undoubtedly one of the most devastating pandemics the world has ever seen. Spread by flies that lived in the fur of rats, the plague caused the demise of approximately 25 million people in only five years, from 1347 to 1352. According to the Atlas of World Population History, between 1300 and 1400 the population of France decreased by 5 million people, and hadn’t been restored to its original numbers by 1500. However, the effect the Black Death had on Feudal Europe was in no way limited to population. These five years were a time of both psychological and physiological despair for all people
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Anti-semitism was as common in this era as it was in Germany under Hitler’s influence during World WarⅡ. Jewish people were targets of jealousy and prejudice because of their wealth and success. They were also under fire from Christians in particular as they were blamed for the death of Jesus Christ. The Annals of Roger de Hoveden discusses this, in particular the riots in London surrounding King Richard’s coronation. “The citizens of London...attacked the Jews in the city and burned their houses...[the king] caused those offenders to be arrested who has set fire to the city; not for the sake of the Jews, but in account of the houses and property of the Christians which they had burnt and plundered, and he ordered some of them to be hanged.” This religious discrimination is yet another example of how the feudal period in Europe was a time of
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