The Latin West, 1200–1500

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Chapter 14

The Latin West, 1200–1500

Use the following to answer questions 1-16:

Key Terms

1. Latin West

2. three-field system

3. Black Death

4. water wheel

5. Hanseatic League

6. guild

7. Gothic cathedral

8. Renaissance (European)

9. universities

10. scholasticism

11. humanists (Renaissance)

12. printing press

13. Great Western Schism

14. Hundred Years War

15. new monarchies

16. reconquest of Iberia

17. What were the major causes of population decline in the fourteenth century, and what results did this have in social, economic, and political terms?

Ans:  The major demographic change in the fourteenth-century Latin West was the mortality of the Black Death, which historians put at somewhere between one-third to one-half of the European population (the text argues for approximately one-third). However, at the same time, there were significant population declines due to crop failure exacerbated by the increased population and shortages of land, as well as a famine in 1315-1321 and the long-term effects of the Hundred Years War. Students should be able to identify the population boom prior to the fourteenth century as a significant lead-up, and therefore a cause, of this change: during this “warm period” significant technological advancements promoted a better standard of living. The high mortality rates of the century had significant social, political, and economic effects and changed people's day-to-day views: while the mortality of famine and war were generally class-based, the plague was the first event that killed indiscriminately--elite, middle class, and peasants alike. Students should be able to identify the argument that the plague ended serfdom by creating more economic opportunities for serfs and that it made people either more religious (zealots) or irreligious, a factor that historians have linked to the growth of humanism's emphasis on the here and now. Students should be able to identify the Jacquerie, Wat Tyler's rebellion, and the ongoing Hundred Years War as a manifestation of political and military issues.
18. Explain the causes and effects of rural poverty in Europe between 1200 and 1500. What role did the natural environment play in people's survival?

Ans:  Students should understand that nine out of ten people lived in rural areas and that this majority of people were subjected to famine as well as epidemics such as the Black Death. Rural people worked hard in the fields, and the fruits of their labor went to the noble landowner. From 1110 to 1300 the European population more than doubled, partly because of environmental changes such as increases in average temperature. This explosion in the population led to the use of the three-field system as well as the opening of new agricultural settlements; however, it also led to the reality that most Europeans would experience extreme hunger at least once in their lives. This was a world of social inequality, where serfs worked and the nobility and the church owned the land. Students should also emphasize inefficient farming practices, widening class differences, and burgeoning population as the root factors creating rural poverty.

19. How was Europe's success linked to its contacts with Byzantine and Muslim neighbors?

Ans:  Students should come to the conclusion that the revival of Latin cities and intellectual life came in large part through contact with these two great civilizations. The Byzantine and Muslim Empires remained more advanced in many ways than the Latin West; however, the Latin West revived its civilization in large part through trade, the Crusades, and even through the remains of Muslim control in Spain. The importance of the Silk Road and other sea-based trade routes from the East cannot be overstated, since they brought technology, commerce, products, and even epidemics to the Latin West. This Eastern-based commerce revived the urban economies of the Latin West. The Black Death, brought into Europe from China, also in the long run provided economic recovery and the decline of feudalism. In addition, the intellectual contributions of these empires were important to the growth of the Renaissance. Islamic science, medicine, astronomy, and botany as well as the preservation of classical texts were the foundation of the era's intellectual revival.

20. What were some of the technological advances and innovations in medieval Europe that some historians refer to as an “industrial revolution”? What were the environmental consequences?

Ans:  The chapter states that calling this development an “industrial revolution” is a bit overstated; however, a number of new machines were invented to make products and perform useful tasks. One indicator of an industrial transformation was the profusion of mills powered by both wind and water. Waterpower made possible the rapid expansion of ironmaking, including the development of trip hammers, stamping mills, and bellows to shape and pour iron for a variety of new uses. Mills also processed products such as paper, in addition to crushing olives, tanning leather, grinding grains, and sawing logs. Students should remark on the consequences of industrial growth as well. The European landscape was changed significantly by this growth. The flow of rivers was changed by dams and canals; quarry pits and mines scarred the countryside; and dumping in the streams created polluted environments. Deforestation for building and fuel was a common problem as well. In response to these environmental problems, the first antipollution law was passed in England in 1388.

21. Discuss the use of Latin versus vernacular language in the transmission of knowledge during the Middle Ages. What differences did language make?

Ans:  Initially the universal language of the Roman Empire, Latin was used in the church in the West for the transmission of ideas at a time when Christianity was spreading to people of diverse cultures and languages. In the medieval era, the church retained its records and literature in Latin, and as the church schools were the ones training young clergy and nobility, the continuation of Latin as the main language of instruction allowed a widespread sharing of knowledge and culture. Universities, derived from cathedral schools, also taught in Latin, regardless of whether they were located in Italian states, the Holy Roman Empire, or France. This allowed a degree of mobility among academics, who could travel to various locales to study what they found of interest, regardless of nationality or political orientation. However, with the growth of humanism and popular literature, the transmission of knowledge in regional languages also increased, such as Dante and Boccaccio writing in Italian or Chaucer writing in Middle English. Thus the Latin-educated elite were no longer the only ones with access to literature.

22. Describe the changes in civic life associated with urban growth in later medieval Europe. Use the document in the Diversity and Dominance section, “Persecution and Protection of Jews, 1272-1349,” in your analysis. What do these documents reveal about the position of Jews in the Latin West?

Ans:  Students should understand that the European cities differed from their Islamic and Chinese counterparts in many ways. Although the Latin cities lacked the public baths and water supply systems that existed in the Islamic world, they did offer a greater degree of social mobility because they remained free from the authority of local nobles. Social mobility grew from the desire to adjust to market forces and resist imperial authority. Despite the opportunities for some in the cities, most urban dwellers were poor. Cities experienced increasing cultural and religious diversity. For instance, they drew small but significant numbers of Jews, who were connected to the growing fields of business and moneylending. Despite the protection Jews received, they were also subjected to violence and persecution, as the document suggests. Guilds regulated business practices and the labor of the working classes while also excluding Jews and reinforcing the divisions of male and female work. In addition, a new class of merchant bankers emerged through their specialization in money changing and investing. An example of the growth of this class is the Medici family of Florence, who used their banking success to gain political influence. Agricultural and commercial surpluses spurred technological, artistic, and architectural growth.

23. The later Middle Ages was a period of great intellectual and artistic achievement marked by what is often called the Renaissance. What was the Renaissance, and what were some of its most important and lasting cultural and artistic achievements?

Ans:  Students should recognize that the Renaissance was not a break with the medieval world but a culmination of centuries of cultural and intellectual enrichment. As the Latin cities grew, the pace of intellectual life quickened. Students should remark that the Byzantine and Muslim worlds were responsible for transmitting new knowledge to Europe through the preservation of Greek and Roman texts of antiquity and the knowledge they had developed themselves. The works of Plato and Aristotle as well as Arabic works were influential. In addition, the growth of European universities, which may have been modeled on the Muslim madrasa, became institutions of advanced teaching and research. Students should note the period's major intellectual developments, such as Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and the paintings of Jan van Eyck, Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo, and Giotto. The financial support of wealthy merchants like the Medicis was instrumental in the cultivation of these artists. These achievements exemplify the intellectual growth of the time and have had a lasting influence on Western culture as well as the rest of the world.

24. What is humanism? What technological innovation encouraged the spread of humanist texts in Renaissance Europe?

Ans:  Students should understand that humanism refers to an interest in the humanities: the disciplines of history, poetry, and ethics. Humanist writers such as Petrarch and Boccaccio were well known for encouraging the rebirth of classical study. Humanists were influential in reviving secondary education and revising the curriculum to include classical tests. The influence of humanism was enhanced because of new printing technology. Printing originated in China, but western Europeans improved it significantly and used printing for many purposes. Johannes Gutenberg is credited with making at least three major contributions—the mechanical printing press, uniform cast-metal letters for movable type, and a suitable ink. The subsequent explosion of printing encouraged both the spread of literacy and the standardization of languages and was a great boon to European intellectual development.

25. One of the most significant events in Europe in the later Middle Ages was the rise of the new monarchies. What three closely related transformations led to this rise? Choose one of the monarchies to illustrate your answer.

Ans:  The three transformations were (a) monarchs' successes in struggles with their vassals; (b) the development of military technology; and (c) the closer relationship of monarchs with both the commercial elites and the church. The pace and form of these transformations, however, differed from state to state. Italy, for instance, did not unite under one powerful monarch. Britain and France struggled through the Hundred Years War. Britain's monarch reluctantly accepted the Magna Carta. France had less control of the noble vassals, and Spain was finally united after driving out the remaining Muslims.

26. Military technology and tactics changed considerably by the later Middle Ages. Describe these changes and their effect on nation building.

Ans:  The use of cavalry and armored knights became less central to warfare as improved bows, arrows, and firearms were devised. Metal-tipped arrows shot from crossbows penetrated knights' armor. The English longbow could shoot both farther and more rapidly than the crossbow. Firearms improved on Chinese designs. Cannon terrorized cavalry and were effective against walled cities. No longer could noble vassals withstand royal sieges. Hand-held firearms completed the transformation from armored knights to effective infantry. However, a new financing system was necessary for the monarchy to pay for standing armies.

27. The Great Western Schism was a manifestation of changing relations between the Latin Church and the monarchies of western Europe. Explain what brought about the schism and how it represented nationalistic urges.

Ans:  Students should note that King Philip of France asserted his superiority over the church in his domains and subsequently engineered the election of a French pope. The succession of French popes residing at Avignon, while concurrently rivals claimed the papacy in Rome, created the schism. The crisis broke the pope's ability to resist the power of the new monarchies and led to new arrangements. Within their realms French and English monarchs controlled all high ecclesiastical appointments, along with their wealth.

28. In 1309, the papal residence was moved from Rome to

Ans:  Avignon.

29. Western Europeans of the later Middle Ages referred to themselves as

A) Franks.

B) Europeans.

C) Westerners.

D) “Old Worlders.”

E) Latins.

Ans:  E Page:  381

30. Which of the following was not one of the significant crises in the Middle Ages?

A) Plague

B) War between France and Britain

C) The fall of Constantinople

D) The Protestant Reformation

E) War over the nationality of the pope

Ans:  D Page:  382

31. In return for the use of their lord's land, serfs

A) paid money for rent.

B) had to give the lord a share of the harvest and performed services.

C) served half the year as knights.

D) were required to send their children to the religious schools.

E) worked as bureaucrats for the monarch.

Ans:  B Page:  382

32. In Europe's later Middle Ages women were considered to be

A) inferior to men.

B) superior to men.

C) equal to men.

D) essential contributors to spiritual practice.

E) suited only to be servants.

Ans:  A Page:  382

33. The three-field system was

A) the traditional three-part contest performed by knights.

B) the legal system.

C) the political relationship between king, lord, and serf.

D) the technology used in medieval optics.

E) an agricultural method.

Ans:  E Page:  384

34. Why did the population of Europe increase so dramatically during the early Middle Ages?

A) A warming trend allowed for higher production of food

B) There was an absence of epidemics

C) The economy revived because of commercial trade

D) All of these

E) Nobody knows.

Ans:  D Page:  383-384

35. By the time it subsided, the Black Death had killed

A) one out of three western Europeans.

B) one out of five western Europeans.

C) one out of ten western Europeans.

D) one out of twenty western Europeans.

E) a negligible number of western Europeans.

Ans:  A Page:  385

36. Which of the following was not a social result of the Black Death epidemic?

A) A demand by laborers for higher pay

B) A call for democracy

C) Peasant revolutions

D) An increase in per capita production

E) An end of serfdom for all intents and purposes

Ans:  B Page:  385

37. Windmills and watermills

A) were invented in later medieval Europe.

B) had long been common in the Islamic world.

C) were banned by the pope as the “devil's wheel.”

D) had little impact in Europe.

E) were unknown in China.

Ans:  B Page:  386

38. In Europe's later Middle Ages, the rapid growth of industry resulted in environmental changes; which of the following was not among them?

A) Deforestation

B) Water pollution by industries such as tanneries

C) The damming of rivers

D) The creation of quarry pits and mines

E) The extinction of many animal species

Ans:  E Page:  387

39. The continued growth of trade and manufacturing after 1200 resulted in

A) The growth of urban areas in the Latin West

B) The continuing economic depression in agriculture

C) The isolation of Europe from the rest of the world

D) Religious revival and expansion

E) Strict government regulation

Ans:  A Page:  387

40. Marco Polo's goal was to

A) travel to the Mongol capital.

B) find his way to India.

C) follow the route of Alexander the Great.

D) find Prester John.

E) establish a Venetian trade outpost in Central Asia.

Ans:  A Page:  387

41. Which of the following is not true of trading cities in Europe during the Middle Ages?

A) They were unable to produce products to compete with Asian products.

B) They offered people more social freedom than rural places.

C) They were often “chartered cities” where residents could claim freedom.

D) They were able to quickly adapt to changing market conditions.

E) They were home to most of Europe's Jews.

Ans:  A Page:  390

42. What official role did the Catholic Church play in the persecution of Jews in medieval Europe?

A) It usually organized the persecution.

B) It did not often participate but usually looked the other way when persecution took place.

C) It assisted the authorities in helping to find out which Jews were responsible for any social disturbances.

D) It advocated a separate Jewish state in Europe.

E) It played no official role in the persecution, as the church was officially the protector of Jews.

Ans:  E Page:  390

43. A guild was

A) a band of knights without ties to a lord.

B) an association of craft specialists from the same trade.

C) an order of monks.

D) a unit of currency in use throughout the Latin West.

E) a measurement of distance.

Ans:  B Page:  390

44. The Hanseatic League was based in

A) Germany.

B) Russia.

C) the Ottoman Empire.

D) England.

E) Bulgaria.

Ans:  A Page:  389

45. Which of the following is true of merchant banking in the fifteenth century?

A) Jews were prohibited from moneylending for religious reasons.

B) Florence lagged behind the rest of the Latin West.

C) Checking accounts, shareholding companies, moneychanging, loans, and investments were offered as services.

D) Services were only offered to the clergy.

E) No money could be lent for the purpose of warfare in accordance with the Banker Agreement of 1499.

Ans:  C Page:  392

46. What “architectural wonder” first made its appearance in France on or about the year 1140 C.E.?

A) Guild halls

B) Opera houses

C) Gothic cathedrals

D) Chateaux

E) Romanesque churches

Ans:  C Page:  393

47. Which of the following is not a distinctive feature of the Gothic cathedral?

A) The flying buttress

B) Giant stained-glass windows

C) The Gothic arch

D) Their great height

E) Domes

Ans:  E Page:  395

48. The Renaissance began in

A) eastern France.

B) southern England.

C) southern Russia.

D) Austria.

E) northern Italy.

Ans:  E Page:  395

49. Some of the “lost knowledge” of the Greek and Arab world came into the Latin West through

A) the recapture of northern Germany from the Huns.

B) the recapture of southern Italy from the Byzantines and of Sicily and Toledo from the Muslims.

C) contact with the court of Khubilai Khan.

D) the discovery of the remains of the Library of Alexandria.

E) the lively trade in classical antiquities.

Ans:  B Page:  395

50. Before they were expelled in 1492, the largest population of Jews in the West was found in

A) France.

B) Belgium.

C) Holland.

D) Spain.

E) England.

Ans:  D Page:  390

51. In the universities of the Latin West, all courses were taught in

A) French.

B) Greek.

C) Hebrew.

D) Latin.

E) German.

Ans:  D Page:  396

52. Scholasticism was

A) the study of legal doctrines as the central principle of all knowledge.

B) the attempt by thirteenth-century theologians to synthesize Aristotelian philosophy and religious faith.

C) the rejection by theologians and scholars of earthly knowledge in favor of spiritual belief.

D) the violent “anti-university” movement of the thirteenth century.

E) the theory that a free education is the right of all children.

Ans:  B Page:  396

53. Which of the following does not describe the Divine Comedy?

A) It features the Roman poet Virgil as the author's guide through Hell.

B) It used the vernacular, foreshadowing the literary fashions of the later Italian Renaissance.

C) It was written by Dante Alighieri.

D) It made use of Greco-Roman classical themes.

E) It was written in Latin like most literature of the time.

Ans:  E Page:  396-397

54. The first collection of women's lives in Western literature was written by

A) Petrarch.

B) Chaucer.

C) Dante.

D) Boccaccio.

E) Machiavelli.

Ans:  D Page:  397

55. The greatest influence of the humanists was in

A) the reform of secondary education.

B) creating the Knights Templar.

C) medicine.

D) the standardization of weights and measures.

E) their call to a return to the traditions and learning of the early Middle Ages.

Ans:  A Page:  397

56. Which of the following fostered artistic growth in the Renaissance?

A) The ability of the average person to afford art

B) The war against the Muslims, in which many Muslim artists and artwork were captured

C) The “artistic tax” by which part of every salary was used to support museums

D) The patronage of wealthy merchants and prelates

E) Universal education

Ans:  D Page:  447

57. What changes transformed later medieval military technology?

A) The catapult

B) Firearms and crossbows with metal-tipped arrows

C) The organization of knights into armies and primitive biological warfare

D) Universal male conscription and the invention of the mace

E) Military advancement based on merit

Ans:  B Page:  400

58. Which of the following statements about the Magna Carta is not true?

A) It affirmed that monarchs are subject to established law.

B) It confirmed the independence of the church and the city of London.

C) It gave new rights to the peasants.

D) It means “Great Charter.”

E) It guaranteed the nobles' hereditary rights.

Ans:  C Page:  402

59. Joan of Arc

A) led the French to victory in a decisive battle during the Hundred Years War.

B) brokered the English and French peace treaty, thus ending the Hundred Years War.

C) became the queen of France during the Hundred Years War.

D) was the only woman permitted to attend the University of Paris.

E) founded the city of Orleans.

Ans:  A Page:  403

60. The Great Western Schism originated over

A) whether the seat of Catholicism should be in Rome or Constantinople.

B) whether or not women could be priests.

C) the nationality of the pope.

D) whether or not priests could be married.

E) the formation of different types of monasteries (Franciscan, Dominican, Cappucin, etc).

Ans:  C Page:  400

61. By 1500, the English Parliament

A) had been disbanded by King John.

B) had overthrown the king and gained complete governmental authority.

C) had become a permanent part of English government.

D) had yet to be officially formed.

E) had been disbanded.

Ans:  C Page:  404

62. Spain and Portugal's reconquest of Iberia was at the expense of

A) English rule.

B) French rule.

C) Persian rule.

D) Moroccan rule.

E) Muslim rule.

Ans:  E Page:  404

Use the following to answer questions 63-68:

Geography Questions

63. Using Map 14.1, trace the spread of the Black Death in each of five successive years after the plague struck in the mid-fourteenth century. How does the map assist in understanding the spread of disease? What areas were affected first, and what areas were affected last? Why were some cities unaffected?

Page:  386

64. Using Map 14.2, explain who had the most significant sea trade, and with whom. How did the connection to the Eastern world affect the kind of material goods available for commerce, and ultimately influence the Renaissance?

Page:  387

65. Using Maps 14.1 and 14.2, compare the trade routes throughout Europe with the path and intensity of the Black Death. How were these two phenomena connected?

Page:  386, 387

66. Using Map 14.3, discuss how the year 1453 was important in European history and marked changes in many national boundaries.

Page:  401

67. How does Map 14.3 show changes in the Muslim Empire?

Page:  401

68. According to Map 14.3, which states were losing territory and which states were adding territory?

Page:  401

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