The Crisis of the Late Middle Ages, 1300-1450


John Wycliffe


The Triumph of Death, c.1400

Joan of Arc



    What factors brought on the crisis of the late Middle Ages?

    How did the crisis and decline of medieval civilization create the conditions for the Renaissance?


Key Terms

1) Avignon Papacy (Babylonian Captivity)          5) Black Death

2) Conciliar Movement                                           6) John Ball

3) John Wycliffe                                                      7) flagellants

4) John of Arc

I.  The Decline of Papal and Church Authority


    Edward I (1272-1307), Phillip IV (1285-1313), and Resistance to the Church

    Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303) and the End of Papal Supremacy

o  Marsiglio of Padua (1290-1343):  The Defender of the Peace

    The Avignon Papacy or Babylonian Captivity (1303-1377)

    The Great Schism and the Conciliar Movement (1377-1414)

o  Urban VI vs. Clement VII

o  The Council of Constance (1414-1418)

    Critics of the Church

o  John Wycliffe (1320-1384)

o  Jan Hus (1369-1415) and The Hussite Wars



II.  A New Kind of War:  The Hundred Years War (1337-1453)


    England vs. France:  Edward III, Philip VI, and Dynastic War

    The Triumph of the Archer, the Infantryman, and Gunpowder

    Living off the Land and the Civilian Population

    English Victories (Crcy, Poiters, and Agincourt)

    French Triumph: Joan of Arc (1421-31) and the Rise of National Identity

    The Triumph of Centralized Monarchy over Feudal Lords

III.  Economic Decline, Demographic Crisis, and Social Upheaval


    Overpopulation, Soil, Rain, The Great Famine (1315-1320s), and Declining Trade

    The Black Plague (1347-1351) and its Impact

o  1  2  3

    Peasant Rebellions and the Critique of Authority

o  France (1358)

o  England and John Ball (1381)


IV. Making Sense of the World in a Time of Upheaval


    The New Mysticism  (The Flagellants)

    The Cult of Death:  Danse Macabre 2 3

    Scapegoats:  Witches and Jews