Jeremy Keeshin Focus Question 7 The changes in medieval society were due greatly to the Hundred Years’ War

, the Black Death, and the increasing corruption of the church, which together impacted the role of feudalism as the main governing system. The Hundred Year’s War was caused when King Philip VI of France seized Gascony, which in turn caused King Edward III of England to declare war. The English won the Battle of Crécy and the Battle of Agincourt, but their lack of numbers disabled them from winning the whole war. Joan of Arc, the daughter of peasants, convinced the French king to allow her into battle. She brought reassurance back to the French and they ended up winning the war. Before this time knights were the main source of military power. However, this war was not won by knights, but by peasant foot soldiers using the longbow. The longbow was an important advance in weaponry because it allowed a greater striking distance and quicker firing speed. The longbow used by the English in the Battles at Crécy and Agincourt allowed them to take victory although greatly outnumbered. Another significant weapon that eventually led to the triumph of the French was the cannon, which was viable because of gunpowder. The Hundred Years’ War undermined feudalism because the whole foundation of feudalism rested on knights, and when knights were no longer necessary, neither was feudalism. Another factor that catalyzed change in medieval society was the Black Death. The disease was the Bubonic Plague, and it spread along trade routes. The death rate was dreadfully high and overall a total of 19 to 38 million people died from the plague. Flagellants, people who beat themselves, went around causing chaos. Many members of the clergy failed to perform the sacraments, and this caused religious doubt. The Black Death also caused Anti-Semitism. Jews were blamed of poisoning wells and were burnt

Jeremy Keeshin Focus Question 7 because the feudal lords owed them money. The Black Death put the economy of this time in a state of entropy. The economy of the feudal system was manorialism, and this whole structure was destabilized. Because of all of the deaths, there were more jobs than people, and serfs started negotiating with lords, and then the serfs were freed of serfdom. Also the as the population went down, the demand for food and the prices went down, and landlords were stuck in a difficult position. The other aspect that changed medieval society was the decline of the Church. Pope Gregory XI died in 1378 and then Pope Urban VI was elected in Rome. After this election was declared invalid, Pope Clement VII was chosen by the French and was moved to Avignon. The two popes labeled the other as Antichrist and started a division within the church in what was known as the Great Schism. Then Pope Alexander V was elected as a compromise between the split. This conflict amongst the popes was not solved until 1417, and up until then, faith in the church, as well as power, was lost. In addition to this, the clergy behavior worsened, and the introduction of the Inquisition only helped add to the frustration with the church. The actions of the church at this time changed the way the rest of society viewed them in a negative direction. The downfall of the Church, the Black Death, and the Hundred Years’ War all combined to affect medieval society. Since there was only a limited amount of power, whenever the nobles would lose power, it would go to the kings, and vise versa. As feudalism was declining the royalty came to power in what was called new monarchies. In France, the Hundred Years’ War developed a sense of nationalism that enabled the king to gain power and use the taille, the annual land and property tax. The declining image of the church, the plague, and the war, together altered medieval society.