Middle Ages and the Renaissance

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Middle Ages and Renaissance (Order #A2073046) In the time between the 1300's and the 1500's, a great transformation took place in Europe. Prior to the 1300's, Europe had experienced what has been called the Middle Ages, but after 1500, the continent was fully into the period known as the Renaissance. The impetus for the transformation that took place was the onslaught of the Black Death, or a two hundred year nightmare in which the Bubonic Plague devastated European society. The changes that took place as a result of the Plague altered the economic, social, artistic, political, and intellectual foundations of Europe forever. The Middle Ages were a time of feudalism, or a system in which the nobles provided military service in exchange for land. The entire social, economic, and political systems were intertwined with the idea of feudalism, but this system kept Europe primitive. However, the Bubonic Plague, which first struck in the mid-1300's and in successive waves over the next two centuries killed off from a third to half of the entire population without distinction for class, wealth, or status, altered everything. The Europe that emerged from the Plague developed in an entirely different manner. In terms of economics, the Middle Ages saw a stagnant economy with peasants, called serfs, tied to the land. Since wealth and social status was connected, there was little chance of a serf rising out of his position. But the devastation brought in the wake of the Plague
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