The Early Middle Ages

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Sophomore (College 2nd year) ・History ・MLA ・1 Sources

The early Middle Ages became known as the Dark Ages since Europe suffered a severe political, economic, and social setback after the fall of the Roman Empire. Furthermore, the negative effects of the defeats are reminiscent of the Dark Ages. The dark ages began in 476 AD when a barbarian named Odoacer defeated Romulus Augustulus, the last Western Roman Emperor. Following the defeat of the Roman Emperor, backward rituals and traditions persisted. Furthermore, since historical sources were unavailable at the time, there was very little information available (Wickham 21). When the era of the Roman Empire ended, most learning institutions closed. Monasticism rose due to the influence of the church. Monks took the responsibility of teaching, and the whole pattern of education became purely religious. Learning was profoundly influenced by the church. The primary learning curriculum comprised of Latin language, grammar, logic, as well as mathematics and so on. The Romans and Greek’s ancient writings were used by the monks as resources to enhance learning. Most of the courses of education were typically based on beliefs as well as superstitions.
Renaissance refers to a cultural as well as a humanistic period which was characterized by bright expectations for the future. In the course of this time, classical learning and wisdom were revived after it declined for an extended period. During this time, individuals believed in their powers, and artistic organs were revived. Modern art contributed to the beginning of ornamental as well as exotic rhythms. During this period, all kind of art was incorporated. It is during the Modernity era that the European Renaissance was felt.
The theory of moral economy explains the reformation of the church. Religious groups competed for the contributions of members in exchange for services. The Catholic Church, being the only church was prone to poor performance. The credibility of belief is undermined when there are clerical neglect and corruption. This results in the coming up of new religious ideas. The Protestants entered the market to exploit the rapid shift in religious demand. The dioceses were neglected since the church took an interest in politics. Church leaders used the church contributions for their selfish gain. The Catholic Church was used as a business place by the churchmen. The most crucial factor that led to the reformation of the church is the religious issue. Numerous evil practices such as corruption by the priests undermined the church’s reputation.
The old church was controlled by the upper-class, and the middle class revolted this. Also, the church did not want to associate with the poor, for instance, the artisans as well as the merchants. The church cared very little about the interests of the middle class. The people in the middle class did not want the idea of the church taxing them while exempting the nobles. They tried to free the church from the aristocracy.\
On the other hand, the rise of the new monarchy who wanted to establish their rule led to the reformation of the church. For instance, Henry VIII viewed the strength of the church to be a considerable threat. The authority of the king did not extend to the church, and the church’s property was not taxed. Further, under canon law, the bishops administered justice. The established Protestant Churches accepted the political authority of the kings.

Work Cited

Wickham, Chris. Framing the early middle ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800. Oxford University Press on Demand, 2005.

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