The Crisis of the Late Middle Ages was a series of events in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that ended centuries of European stability. Three major crises led to radical changes in all areas of society: demographic collapse, political instabilities and religious upheavals.
The Great Famine of 1315–17 and Black Death of 1347-1351 reduced the population perhaps by half or more as the Medieval Warm Period came to a close and the first century of the Little Ice Age began. It took until 1500 for the European population to regain the levels of 1300. Popular revolts in late-medieval Europe and civil wars between nobles such as the Wars of the Roses were common—with France fighting internally nine times—and there were international conflicts between kings such as France and England in the Hundred Years' War.
The unity of the Roman Catholic Church was shattered by the Western Schism. The Holy Roman Empire was also in decline; in the aftermath of the Great Interregnum (1247–1273), the Empire lost cohesion and politically the separate dynasties of the various German states became more important than their common empire.
- 1 Historiography
- 2 Demography
- 3 Climate change and the Great Famine
- 4 Climate change and plague pandemic correlation
- 5 Popular revolt
- 6 Political and religious factors
- 7 Malthusian hypothesis
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Sources
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
The expression "Crisis of the Late Middle Ages" is commonly used in western historiography, especially in English and German, and somewhat less among other western European scholarship to refer individually or collectively to different crises besetting Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries. The expression often carries a modifier to refer more specifically to one or another aspect of Late Middle Age crisis, such as the... ...read more