History of the Middle Ages in Europe

The Middle Ages are the historical period between the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 and the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453.
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| 24/05/2019 | Last update:


The medieval or medieval age is the intermediate period of the history of Europe between the ancient age and the modern age. Its beginning and end are marked by two major events: the beginning of the Middle Ages in the 5th century with the fall of the Roman Empire, in 476, and the end in the 15th century with the fall of Constantinople, the 1453, or with the discovery of America in 1492. The name of this period was put by the Renaissance humanists as a derogatory term, because they considered the Middle Ages a dark period after one of the moments of greater cultural splendour, the classical era.

Course articles: Medieval History in Europe

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The crisis of the 3rd century and the collapse of the Roman Empire

During the third century, the Roman Empire suffered serious problems at its borders, which led to its military collapse. The control of the territory was being lost and the State entered into a clear decadence.

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The conversion of Constantine, the Christian Empire

The history of the Roman Empire and Europe changed dramatically in 312 AD as a result of the conversion of Emperor Constantine to Christianity.

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After the Roman Empire: the Barbarian Kingdoms

The invasion of the Germanic populations and their establishment in the space occupied by the Roman Empire created a multitude of barbarian kingdoms that filled the vacuum with power after the disappearance of the Empire.

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Expansion of Islam in the Mediterranean (8th — 10th centuries)

The traditional historical theses asserted that a dark period for Europe began with the rupture between the Western world and the Islamic world. Today, this position takes on a new significance.

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Peasants, agriculture and food before the Feudal Revolution

It is still unknown how agricultural production was organized in European pre-feudal societies during the 9th and 10th century.

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Charlemagne, Emperor. The Kingdom of the Franks (481-987)

The Carolingian Empire, within the stage of the Kingdom of the Franks, is a fundamental piece of European history. There are two periods: the Merovingian dynasty (481-751) and the Carolingian dynasty (751-987).

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The origins of the new Feudal system

During the period between the 8th and 10th centuries a progressive transformation of the economic and social structures in Western Europe took place, which would have contributed to the subsequent feudal revolution.

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Christianity, a universal institution for the feudal order

The High Middle Ages corresponded to the consolidation of the Church as a universal institution. The union between the royal power and the Church proved to be actually important during this period.

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The origin of the Feudal Monarchies

The disappearance of the Frankish Kingdom in Western Europe made way for a multitude of feudal-type monarchies, where the figure of the monarch did not disappear but underwent significant changes.

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Medieval cities under feudalism and commercial expansion

Until the feudal revolution of the 11th-12th centuries in Europe, we can only find important cities in the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim territories.

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The Question of Medieval Growth (11th — 13th century)

The development of Feudalism in the 11th-13th centuries became possible as a result of population and economic growth in Europe.

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The crisis of the Late Middle Ages

Between the late 13th and the 14th century, Europe experienced a period of overall crisis. The first symptoms of this decline were poor harvests, plague epidemics and wars.

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The Hundred Years' War (1337 – 1453)

The Hundred Years' War was a lengthy war between the House of Plantagenet in England and the House of Valois in France.

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Economic and social effects of the crisis of the Late Middle Ages

The crisis of poor harvests at the beginning of the 14th century, together with the arrival of the Black Death, led to the crisis of the late Middle Ages. It lasted until the 15th century.

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Peasant revolts and urban conflicts in the Late Middle Ages

In the Lower Middle Ages, the crisis caused unrest and revolts throughout Europe, especially in the 14th century, when peasant revolts and social unrest spread to the continent's main cities.

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The Western Schism (1378-1417)

Between 1378 and 1417, the Church experienced a period of crisis that saw up to three rival popes vying for recognition and legitimacy in Christendom.


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