Chapter 16 a new Civilization Emerges in Western Europe chapter summary

The Flavor of the Middle Ages: Inferiority and Vitality

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The Flavor of the Middle Ages: Inferiority and Vitality. Although western European society was not as commercially or culturally developed as the great world civilizations, it had its own distinctive characteristics. Western political structures had many similarities with the other more recent civilizations of Japan, Russia, and sub-Saharan Africa. Europeans long lived under threat of incursions from the stronger Islamic world. There were many indications of a developing, vital society: population growth, economic productivity, increased political complexity, technological innovation, and artistic and intellectual complexity. Major contributions to the development of Western civilization occurred in politics and social structure; in intellectual life medieval striving produced the university and Gothic architectural forms.

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