Middle Ages


Expansion of Islam

750 - 973

In 750, The Arabic Abbasid dynasty overthrew the Umayy dynasty. The Arabic capital was changed from Damasucus to Baghdad. Arabic cities became great centers of knowledge and commerce. The Arabic empire included Northern Africa, the middle east, south western Asia, and southern Spain. The empire was at it's hight under the rule of Harun al- Rashid (768-809), but fell into chaos between the violent power struggle of his sons after his death.

Growth of Cities

1000 - 1300

Urbanization had declined in the mid medivil era, but by 1000 merchants and artisans were in need of an area to store and sell their goods. Cities were ussually near a lord's castle, where the residing lord would offer protection for invaders. Succesfull towns grew into large centers of commerce, and walls were built for protection. Old Roman empire cities remained in tact but had waned in occupancy after the dispersion ofthe Roman Empire, but were restored as important cities during the high middle ages.

Political Instability in 14th Century

1300 - 1400

Government beacurcies had gained a considerable amount f power, however there was much internal conflict over who would rule over these beacurcies. Two aristocrates fought for control over France, while three German princes quarled to be named Holy Roman Emperor. A new system of paying mercanarys with scutage replaced the high middle ages vassalage system, this came as great news to monarchs who could know eaisly create their own army and weaken the manorial system. New dynastys of monarchs came to power that were not present before 1300.


Industry in Medievil Cities

1000 - 1300

Revival of trade enabled cities to become important centers of manufacturing. Guilds were created to teach skills necassary for a specific occupation, people around the age of 10 became aprentices, then 5-7 years later, they became journey men, and could work for money under another master, preforming their learned trade; journeymen could preforme a fantastic display of their ability in order to become a master of a guild. Local manufactures hired laborers for pitufly low wages to mass produce materials such as cloth

Economic Dislocation and Social Upheaval of Noble Landlords and Peasents

1300 - 1400

Due to the huge drop in population via the plague (25-50%), The cost of paying peasents to worke as serfs became much more expensive the pre-plague Eruope. Agricultural goods were largely in demand, but because of the huge drop in aristocratic income, the artistocrates became unable to pay the serf's wages. The price of all goods was drasticly lowerd as well, a horse that cost 40 shilings pre-plague now only cost 7 shillings.


Role of Women in High Middle Ages

1000 - 1300

Women were expected to wait on their husbands and be completley subject to them. Women were expected to bare children and serve them the same way they serve their husbands. Women were married usually in their mid teens. Aristocratic women were expected to look after their husband's estate when their husband was away; some aristocratic women could attain some level of political power through their husband or male children, if they are in power.

New Direction in Medicine

1300 - 1500

In the late middle ages, the heirchy of the medical community consisted of physicans at the top, who were educated through a medical university, but had little practiinal experince. Next was surgons, who had much practicinal experince, and would later surpass physicans in the heirchy; surgons would preforme medical operations, such as healing fractured bones. Next were midwives who were women who made housecalls to birth children, and lastley was barber-surgens who preformed minor medicl operations and supported themselves as a barber. The medical theory was that the body's health was controled by four different humurs in seperate areas of the body, and an illness was caused by an inbalnce in the humors. This new medical discovery was unable to prevent the spread of the plague.


Treatment of Jews

1000 - 1500

Jews were treated as second class citizens in christan areas; the christan church viewed the Jewish people as "the murders of Christ" and were deserving of punishment for their "sin". Many European cities put anti-semetic laws into effect, such as jews having to wear clothing that distinguishes them from christans, and not being able to have sex with christan women. During the crusades, many jewish residences were sacked by moving christan crusaders on their way to the holy land.


The Black Death

1346 - 1500

The Bubonic Plague started in central Asia, and was spread to the Black Sea area by 1346, via common trade routes. By 1347 it had spread to Sicily through trade routes, and up the Italian peninsula, where it would do the most damage. From Italy the palgue spread to the rest of Europe, but most prominetly in western and central Eruope. The disease was spread from fleas that would bite rats, then the infected rats would spread their disease in a banerial maner to travalers. The expectancy rate of surviving the Bubonic Plague were 50-60%. Side effects included blotty purple skin form internal bleeding, high fever, aching joints, swelling of lymph nodes, and most likely death.


Change in Urban Life

1300 - 1500

Plague prevention methods were instituted in cities, sanatation laws and precausions were instituted and prostition was outlawed. The basic unit of life in the late middle ages was the nucleaur family; children were sent ti gramer schools at age 5, and could go onto secondary schoold to learn latin and buissness mathmatics, Children would undergo aprenticeships earlier then in the high middle ages starting around age 6. Women could work, but were still viewed as inpherior to men and could not become guild masters or represnt themselves alone in court.