The Crisis of the High Middle Ages Analytical Essay by Shaad

The Crisis of the High Middle Ages
This paper analyzes the causes behind the High Middle Ages crisis in Europe, and discusses the historical implications.
# 146712 | 750 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2010 | BD

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In this article, the writer discusses the crisis of the High Middle Ages in Europe, identifying social, religious, demographic and political factors that gave rise to the crisis, and the historical implications. The root cause is shown to be the demise of religious obeisance to the Catholic Church, which was vital towards holding European feudal society together. The writer shows how local princes encroached into ecclesiastical authority, giving rise to democratic tendencies, peasant revolts, mass movements, and finally protracted national conflicts. The writer shows how such tendencies led towards the Protestant Reformation and the beginnings of modern Europe. Demographic factors such as overpopulation, expansion and the Black Death are also considered.

From the Paper:

"Periods of social transition can also be interpreted as crisis points, and the late Middle Ages clearly represents such a period. Historians usually try to find the causes of change in external factors, but in the case of Europe in the late Middle Ages we must also consider the inherent instabilities of this social order. For example, the Moslem invasions and the Black Death must both be considered as important factors that contributed to the decline of traditional Christian society, and as halting economic prosperity. But what we now think of as "traditional Christian society'' was riddled with internal conflicts too, and this is the proper source of the crisis, that which eventually found its resolution through the Protestant Reformation, and through the rise of secular humanism and science.
"The true characteristic of Western Christianity was the relative independence of the local churches, and their ability to exercise spiritual authority over the people purely through commanding respect and obeisance."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Anderson, Perry. Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism. Verso, 1974.
  • Corfis, Ivy A. & Wolfe, Michael. The Medieval City Under Siege. Boydell & Brewer, 2000.
  • Craig, Albert M. The Heritage of World Civilizations, Combined. Prentice Hall, 1993.
  • Perry, Marvin; Jacob, Margaret C.; Chase, Myrna; Jacob, James R. Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society. Cengage Learning, 2008.
  • TeBrake, William Henry. A plague of insurrection: popular politics and peasant revolt in Flanders, 1323-1328. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Crisis of the High Middle Ages (2011, January 14) Retrieved February 24, 2024, from

MLA Format

"The Crisis of the High Middle Ages" 14 January 2011. Web. 24 February. 2024. <>