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ESSAY ON THE LATER MIDDLE AGES 13001500 The Later Middle Ages is characterized as being a time of overwhelming hardships catastrophes and struggles Both natural disasters and man-made ones seemed to strike constantly and relentlessly What progress was made during this time is seen as less then previously or since though not entirely non-existent However it should be remembered that humans have a habit of remembering the bad times and forgetting the good Professor Webber also brought out the fact in his first tape called Common Life in the Middle Ages that If cats could write history their history would be mostly about cats He related this to the fact that until the 14th century the common man did not have the resources or learning to read or write So I feel that while the major catastrophes and hardships are well documented what progress was made by common people of the times is not well chronicled I dont doubt that if a common person was asked about the time he would point out that I didnt have to live then and offer to switch places with me However if you take a few steps back and see the larger picture you would find that this time period is a perfect human example of the scientific premise that For every action however mild or violent there is an opposite and equal reaction The action was certainly violent and I think the reaction to it was just as violent The major destructive events create a long list of violent actions by both man and nature and in general they all seemed to be directed towards the common people Nature struck with the Black Death which began in 1347 with periodic outbreaks for the next 100 years and in 1315 major floods occurred throughout western Europe Even the weather changed becoming colder and wetter causing crop failures and famines throughout this time Constant warfare ensued
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