Europe before the Renaissance

madugundurukmini By madugundurukmini, 16th Aug 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

In the later part of the Middle Ages, there was a change for the better. A few scholars like Roger Bacon of England and Peter Abelard of France began to think in a scientific way.

The schools and universities

The Renaissance was not a sudden event with an immediate cause. A number of changes in the Social and Economic Life of Europe during the preceding centuries had resulted in the rise of a new class of patrons who encouraged and promoted a fresh outlook on the part of scholars and artists. Therefore, in order to understand the causes of the Renaissance it would be useful to examine briefly the medieval context which formed the back ground to the movement known as the Renaissance.

The period preceding the age of the Renaissance is known as the of Feudalism. In the feudal society political and economic power was completely controlling by kings, their land – owning feudatory (subordinate rulers) and the Roman Catholic Church. Most of the wealth was also concentrated in the hands of the feudal aristocracy and the Church which levied its own taxes (known as tithes) mostly the landless peasants called `serfs' bore the burden of all such impositions.

As the serfs had no independent means of income, they were not in a position to oppose the unjust feudal system. A middle class, making its income from sources other than land, was almost non -existent. The feudal classes also discouraged long distance trade because, ruling over small principalities, they did not favour the role of merchants from outside who would not be completely under their authority. Most of the manufacturing and trading activities were thus meant only for local consumption.

During the Middle Ages in Europe, all knowledge centred around the Roman Catholic Church. The schools and universities, if any, were controlled by the Church fathers. All branches of knowledge were fitted into the framework of Christian doctrines.

In the later part of the Middle Ages, there was a change for the better. A few scholars like Roger Bacon of England and Peter Abelard of France began to think in a scientific way. They challenged religious dogmas and other beliefs. Their views were, however, condemned by the priestly class.

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Church, Europe, Renaissance, Roman Catholic

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
17th Aug 2015 (#)

Thanks for sharing such an informative article. I really enjoyed reading this and learned a few things about history.

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