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Nicole Lee

Mr. Kuzian
AP World History
15 December 2010
THE LATIN WEST, 1200 - 1500
1. Rural Growth and Crisis
a. 1200-1500 - Latin West brought more land under cultivation, adopted new farming techniques,
and made greater use of machinery and mechanical forms of energy
b. for most rural European, this was a time of calamity and struggle
i. famine, epidemics, warfare, and social exploitation
ii. 1347-1351 - epidemic of a plague called the Black Death
c. Peasants and Population
i. society divided by class and gender
ii. landowners largely benefited from the work of serfs and underclassmen
iii. serfs were not motivated to improve in farming practices
iv.both men and women worked in the fields (doesn’t mean equality of decision making at home)
v. women are subordinate to men
vi. Thomas Aquinas - argued both men and women were created in God’s image , there was
a sense in which “the image of God is found in man and not in woman”
vii. Rural poverty causes:
1. inefficient farming methods
2. social inequality
3. rapid growth of Europe’s population (stimulated possibly by the reviving economy)
viii. Three-field System - farmers grew crops on 2/3 of their land each year and planted the
third field in oats (stored nitrogen and rejuvenated soil)
ix. During 13th century - Order of Teutonic Knights conquered. resettled and administers a
cast area along the Eastern Baltic (later known as Prussia)
x. gained new land by draining swamps and clearing forests
xi. Great Famine of 1315 - 1317
d.The Black Death and Social Change
i. the Black Death killed of a third of western Europeans
ii. Spread from Asia to Mongol armies in Kaffa to Genoese traders in Kaffa to Italy and Southern
France and all throughout the rest of Europe
iii. believed to be a mix of anthrax and bubonic plague
iv.from the plague, some people became more religious
v. others turned to reckless enjoyment
vi. the Black Death also triggered social changes
1. skilled and manual laborers demanded higher pay
2. serfdom practically disappears after revolts
vii. the welfare of the rural masses generally improved after the Black Death
viii. urban areas - wages raised to attract new employees to replace those that died
1. competition between crafts became more common
e. Mines and Mills (sometimes referred to as an “industrial revolution”)
i. mining, metalworking and the use of mechanical energy increased in centuries before 1500
ii. Mills powered by water or wind were used to bring grain and flour, saw logs into lumber,
crush olives, tan leather, make paper, and perform other tasks
iii. water wheels - turned by the flow of water; some harnessed the power of ocean tides
iv. windmills - common in dry lands like Spain; northern Europe, where ice was present
v. water wheels and windmills used on a larger scale in Latin West than in the Islamic world
1. mills built by wealthy individuals or monasteries
2. very profitable since the energy to run them was free (water and wind)
vi. Geoffrey Chaucer - english poet; wrote Canterbury Tales
vii. waterpower also made a great expansion of iron making (armor and nails to horseshoes
and agriculture tools)
viii. new silver, lead and copper mines in Austria and Hungary supplied metals for church
bells, cannon and statues
ix. dramatic environmental changes - major deforestation in the mid-fourteenth century
1. trees cut to provide timber for buildings and ships
2. tanneries stripped bark to make acid for tanning leather
3. glass/iron industries used charcoal (made by burning of oak or other hardwood)
2. Urban Revival
a. cities in the west were undergoing greater commercial. cultural, and administrative changes
a.Trading Cities
i. a boon to Italian trade - expansion of the Mongol Empire: opened trade routes from the
Mediterranean to China
ii. Genoese (Genoa sea trade also expanded) merchants established colonies on the shores of the
eastern Mediterranean and around the Black Sea as well as in the western Mediterranean
iii.Hanseatic League - an association of trading cities
1. traded extensively in the Baltic (including coasts of Prussia)
iv.Flanders - third area of trading and manufacturing
1. turned raw wool from English sheep into a fine. softer, and smoother cloth
2. appealed to wealthy Europeans who formerly had textiles imported from Asia
v. Champagne fairs - manufactured goods, livestock and farm produce once sold
1. under control of the kind of France, turned the regional markets into international fairs
vi. fulling - process by which the woven cloth was beaten in water to clean and thicken it
vii. application of mill power - paper making
1. westerners were the first to use machines to do the heavy work in its manufacturing
viii. 15th century: Venice surpassed its European rivals in the volume of its trade in the
Mediterranean as well as across the Alps into central Europe
1. its skilled craftspeople also manufacture other goods
a. silk and cotton textiles, glassware and mirrors, jewelry, and paper
ix. western European cities had used the eastern trade to increase their prosperity and then
reduce their dependence on eastern goods
b.Civic Life
i. trading cities in Europe offered more social freedom than did rural places
ii. because of their autonomy, they were able to adapt to changing market conditions more
quickly then cities in China and the Islamic world that were controlled by imperial authorities
iii. social mobility in Latin West was easier because anyone who lived in a chartered city for
over a year might claim freedom
1. cities became a refuge for ambitious individuals, whose labor and talent added to their
iv.cities were also home to most of Europe’s Jews (largest population in Spain)
1. still subject to violent religious persecutions or expulsions
v. Guild - an association of craft specialists, such as silversmiths, or of merchants that regulated
the business practices of its members and the prices they charged
1. dominated civic life in most towns and cities
2. trained apprentices and promoted members’ interest with the city government
3. perpetuated male dominance of most skilled jobs
vi. some women advanced socially through marriage
vii. Medici family of Florence - operated banks in Italy, Flanders and London; controlled the
government of Florence; important patrons of the arts
viii. Fuggers of Augsburg - greatest banking family in western Europe
ix. because they were not bound by church laws, Jews were important moneylenders
c. Gothic Cathedrals
i. gothic cathedrals - architectural wonders of their times; made their appearance in about 1140
in France