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AP Euro FRQ on Renaissance Essay

“Even though the renaissance had begun in main Italian city states by 1347, the rest of Europe was still basically Medieval in culture and outlook. Analyze how the Black Death put an end on to this medieval culture and hastened the development of the renaissance.”

The Bubonic plague, also known as Black Death invaded the bodies of 50% of the English population, flourishing them with welts, 104-degree temperatures, bruising, wretched stench, coughing and death within 24 hours. This awful disease forced an end to the medieval ages, creating a new way of political, economical and cultural thinking, which today we call the Renaissance. Through the inflation on silver, diminishing use of knights and castles and imposing parliaments on the king Europe was brought to a dawn of a new era, the Renaissance.

When the Bubonic plague came to an end, the demand for peasants was at an all time high. This in turn gave the peasants an idea to demand more money for their work. The king had no problem paying more since his plan was to fill silver coins with half lead and lead peasants into inflation. Money would soon become worth less than it had and the amount of coins would not make up for the item being purchased. This kept the peasants stuck giving more money to the king to be grant more coins. Inflation on coinage in Europe leads to a surplus of money back into the royal family. Thus leading to the development of a renaissance lifestyle where the king traps peasants into giving more money to the throne and leading to a continuation of inflation for the next 6oo years.

The loss of population from Black Death and the new ways of protection and modern thinking from the 100-year way lead to modernization for Europe. France and England were fighting over the right of the French throne. A critical turning point was The Battle of Ageneout in 1415. The French had 1,750 knights compared to England’s 46 archers. When the battle had begun the French proceeded to get stuck in the mud from the rain the previous night and the English archers killed, injured or captured all the Frenchmen.
This battle marked the importance of archers over knights and a less amount of men in an army. Another idea taken out of medieval times was castles. Cannon balls were being made to be able to crash down a castle, therefore making these structures useless to the now more modern European. Modernization began to come to use after the Black Death forced Europeans to change their way of living through the renaissance by removing use of knights and castle and alter to a more modern lifestyle of using archers in military force and living in gunpowder fortification rather than castles.

After Black Death had wiped out nearly half of the peasant population in Europe, the king had to establish a new way to bring in revenue. His thoughts directed towards taxing the rich considering the poor had nothing to give. This idea angered merchants, clergy and nobles and gave them an idea to make in turn with the king. If the king were to tax the merchants and clergy, they had the right to form parliaments. These parliaments took away the power of the king and stopped him from abusing his throne through taxation and government decisions, thus destroying the medieval way of power and leading to a modern way of governing typified by the Renaissance.

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