Middle Ages Part III
The demographic and economic growth phase that characterized the High Middle Ages extended into the second decade of the 14th century, when catastrophic crop failures combined with cattle epidemics triggered the first agricultural crisis. Nevertheless, research tends to start the late Middle Ages much earlier in Germany. In literature, for example, the collapse of the Hohenstaufen rule (around 1250) with the subsequent interregnum (1254–73) is seen as the decisive turning point that ushered in the late Middle Ages. Some research even tends to bring this point forward even further, to the beginning of the 13th century. There are good reasons for this, since – in retrospect – historical decisions were made towards the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th century, which pushed future development in new directions. While in Western Europe towards the end of the 12th century the dynastic principle of inheritance finally prevailed in the succession to the royal rule, in Germany the failure of the inheritance plan was the result of the emperors Henry VI. and the double election of 1198 made a decisive contribution to the fact that in the end the idea of the election of a king with the training of special king electors (electors) won the day. Already with the double election it became clear that the attempt of the Hohenstaufen monarchy to build up a general imperial administration with the help of the imperial ministry had failed, which led to the fact that the Holy Roman Empire would never have administrative institutions organized according to authority until its end (1806). Events such as the 1187 conquest of Jerusalem by the Muslims, the unsuccessful third crusade, also speak at European leveland the perversion of the idea of the crusade through the conquest of Constantinople and the establishment of the “Latin Empire” in Byzantium (1204), the collapse of the Angevin Empire and the rise of the French monarchy (Battle of Bouvines 1214) as well as the pontificate of Innocent III. (1198–1216), one of the most important popes of the Middle Ages, for accepting a deep turning point and thus the beginning of a new era at the turn of the 12th to the 13th century.
End of the Middle Ages: According to the traditional view, the late Middle Ages ended at the end of the 15th / beginning of the 16th century with the landing of C. Columbus in America in 1492), the development of humanism or the Italian expedition of the French King Charles VIII. (1494/95) is referred. The suggestion of individual authors to bring this point forward by at least two centuries has so far not been accepted. Even if it must be admitted that certain foundations of modern statehood, such as the image of man and nature, were laid as early as the 13th and 14th centuries, it was recognized that it was only with the Reformation that the medieval notions of order finally collapsed. This deep break also speaks in favor of not letting the modern age begin with the outbreak of the French Revolution (1789).
According to Barblejewelry, the epoch of the late Middle Ages sometimes appears to historians as a time of crisis, which, however, was not only characterized by depression and resignation, but also by vital resilience, creativity, individuality and a creative new beginning. In the 14th century, famine and plague epidemics with their dramatic human losses triggered a long-lasting agricultural depression – accompanied by a monetary crisis; on the other hand, a large part of the survivors benefited from the now increased human labor. After the exaggerated claims to power, Pope Boniface VIII joined the economic crisis . a crisis of the papacy, which soon turned into a general crisis of the church (residence of the popes in Avignon under the influence of the French crown 1309-77, western schism, unsuccessful church reform attempts at the councils of the 15th century in Constance, Basel-Ferrara-Florence). The rapidly radicalizing movement of the flagellants made large parts of the population aware of the crisisand the bloody persecution of Jews from the south of France in the years 1348–49. The guild battles in German cities are only one aspect of the popular movements that have shaken western and southern Europe since the beginning of the 14th century and which expanded into eastern and south-eastern Europe around 1380. It was misery revolts, urban rioting movements and peasant uprisings which, against the background of the general decline in prosperity, had manifold causes – political, economic and social. The main goal was not to overthrow the existing social order, but to put an end to grievances. The late Middle Ages were also positively influenced by the flourishing urban culture, the early capitalist forms of economy (new forms of payment and credit, Banking and insurance, stock exchanges) helped achieve a breakthrough. This development was made possible not least by new forms of educational mediation (universities, lay schools in the cities) as well as new educational content, which on the one hand (in Germany) led to a climax of internalized piety in mysticism, but on the other hand also with the Aristotle reception Laying the foundations for the rise of modern natural sciences and thus paving the way for a new “rationality”.