This is the assignment page for the topic "The Crisis of the Late Middle Ages" for J. B. Owens's sections of the lower-division undergraduate course, History 101, Foundation of Western Civilization. The sole purpose of this page and all of the pages linked to it is to provide an orientation for those students enrolled in History 101.

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The Crisis of the Late Middle Ages

ID: Great Famine (1315-1317), Flemish Weavers' Revolt (1326- 1328), Battle of Cassel (1328), Jacquerie (1358), Ciompi (1378), Watt Tyler's Revolt (1381), Hundred Years' War (1337-1453), Wars of the Roses (1455-1485) [England], Armagnacs-Burgundians [France], Trastámaras [Castile; Aragón-Catalunya], Black Death (1348-1349), flagellants, Gerhard Groote (1340-1384), devotio moderna, Brethren of the Common Life, Thomas à Kempis (1379/1380-1471), The Imitation of Christ, Joan of Arc (ca. 1412-1431)

  1. What impact did the Black Death have on the social environment (economy, politics) and cultural environment of Europe?
  2. What factors contributed to the fourteenth-century crisis of Latin Christian Europe?
  3. Why were there such high levels of social violence in the 14th century compared with the situation two centuries earlier?
  4. Why did the impressive economic growth of the Central Middle Ages (1000-1300) culminate in a prolonged period of economic stagnation and depression after 1300?
  5. What factors motivated the formation of the Brethren of the Common Life?
  6. Why did the Imitation of Christ become such an important book in the fifteenth century?


Owens, ch. 11; Kishlansky, pp. 194-206.

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Revised: 29 May 2006