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 The 14 th and 15 th centuries were a dangerous, turbulent and decadent age  England’s civil and foreign wars lasted longer, extended further, cost.

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Presentation on theme: " The 14 th and 15 th centuries were a dangerous, turbulent and decadent age  England’s civil and foreign wars lasted longer, extended further, cost."— Presentation transcript:


2  The 14 th and 15 th centuries were a dangerous, turbulent and decadent age  England’s civil and foreign wars lasted longer, extended further, cost more and involved larger number of men than any it had fought since the Viking Age  In 1330s England began a long struggle against the French Crown  The Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) – the first European war that can be called national

3  England on account of her insular and remote position and her strong kings was passing from feudalism to nationhood  The king and the Parliament endowed her with administrative machinery and national self-consciousness so she exercised her powers at the expense of the French feudal Kingdom  The war – was a question of political dynamics  England passed through a phase of expansionist militarism, profitable at first, in the end disastrous

4  The English army – better disciplined,, more dependable and flexible, proficient use of longbow, employed defensive tactics in battle – brought resounding victories against all the odds in the early decades of war (Crecy and Poitiers)  Expeditions were organized with impressive regularity  The lives and occupations of thousands of Englishmen, Welshmen and Irishmen were disrupted by war service: supplies of food, materials, and equipment were diverted to operations that were entirely destructive

5  Important personalities in this period: Edward III, Henry V, Joan of Arc  The English power was worn away by the Fabian tactics and siege craft of the Dunois era  In 1453 after the last battle in Gascony the Hundred Years’ War drew to a close  Two years later the Wars of the Roses began at St. Albans.  The gain: a period of anarchy and moral prostration

6  The gain: great memories and traditions, a belief in the island qualities  Wars of the Roses  Quarrel between Lancaster and York  On each side there was a group of great nobles with its clientele of knights, gentry, captains, lawyers and clergy  Changing of sides was more frequent in this civil war then in others  Villages, towns, even London remained neutral  The nobles were savage in their treatment of the other

7 The Age of Chivalry  Edward III and his son, the Black Prince, were greatly admired for their courage on the battlefield and for their courtly manners  They became symbols for the “code of chivalry” – the way in which the perfect knight should behave  According to the “code of chivalry” the perfect knight fought for his good name if insulted, served God and the king, and defended any lady in need  Order of the Garter

8 The Century of Plagues  1348 brought the terrible plague known as the Black Death  1348-1349 reached almost every part of England killing one third of the population  Whole villages and hamlets disappeared  After the Black Death there were so few people to work on the land that workers could ask for more money – this lead to the end of serfdom

9  The landlords returned to letting out their land to freeman farmers as a way of avoiding losses  These smaller farmers slowly became a new class – the “yeomen”  There were certain economic changes:  Agricultural production shrank  Peasants’ life became more comfortable – they had enough money to build more solid houses, in stone where it was possible  Wool was replaced by finished cloth as England’s main export

10 The Poor in Revolt  Richard II became a king at the age of 11  His advisers introduced a tax for every person over 15  In 1381 this tax was enforced for a third time and also increased to three times the previous  There was a revolt in East Anglia and in Kent  The leader of the revolt – Wat Tyler – was the first to call for fair treatment of England’s poor people

11  He claimed “We are men formed in Christ’s likeliness”  Revolutionary rhyme: “When Adam delved, and Eve span, Who was then the gentlemen?” the Peasants’ Revolt lasted for four weeks the peasants took control of much of London a number of townspeople also revolted Wat Tyler was killed the revolt was a warning to the king and wealthy nobles

12 Government and Society  1485 is usually taken to mark the end of the Middle Ages in England  Society was based on ranks:  At the top were dukes, earls, and other lords  Below were the knights, then esquires  Next to the gentlemen were the ordinary freemen of the towns – they controlled the life of a town  The guilds – formed to protect the production or trade of a town, then to protect those who were members

13  The poorer skilled workers tried to join together to protect their own interests – the first efforts to form a trade union  Guilds – declined in importance because of the merchants established trading stations, “factories”, in different parts of Europe – became important at national level  One of the most important Company of the Staple in Calais  “staple” an international term used by merchants and governments meaning that certain goods could only be sold in particular places

14  Calais – became the staple for all English wool  An arrangement that suited the merchants and the Crown  In towns a new middle class was developing  By 15 th century most merchants were educated  The lawyers another town class – in London they were considered equal to big merchants and manufacturers  By the end of the Middle Ages the more successful of lawyers, merchants, esquires, cloth manufacturers and yeomen farmers were forming a single class of people

15  They created a new atmosphere in Britain - they were the literate class  They questioned the way in which Church and the state were organised, the value of feudal system  They disliked serfdom – unchristian and not economic  When Edward III asked for money – his parliament asked for the royal accounts  The Parliament – the poor could not qualify to be members

16 The Condition of Women  Little is known  Marriage was the single most important event  The decision was taken by the family for financial reasons  The wife of a noble had responsibilities: when he was away she was in charge of the manor and the village lands, the servants, the harvest and the animals  She had to defend the manor if attacked  The family home was dark and smelly

17 Language and Culture  Plays were performed at important religious festivals – “mystery plays”  Edward III had forbidden the speaking of French in his army – a way of making the army aware of its Englishness  By the end of the 14 th century English was again a written language – very different from the Anglo-Saxon

18  William Langland - a priest, wrote a poem Piers Plowman a dreamer-narrator’s search for the path of salvation, in which he describes the times in which he lived  A religious allegory in alliterative verse  The poem manifests concern with the corruption of society  His importance in the English prose: the chief translator of the Bible  Geoffrey Chaucer – he found English brick and left it marble  His masterpiece The Canterbury Tales

19 The Tudor Age  Population changes  Demographic and economic changes: rapid recovery of population after the Black Death  Famine and epidemics disrupted the Tudor economy  The expansion both of the area of land and of consumer demand stimulated the commercialization of agriculture and the rise of entrepreneurs, encouraging urban renewal, enhancing the material culture;  Merchant classes invested in voyages of exploration

20  Labouring families and urban dwellers were wrecked by poverty  Inflation, speculation in land by investors, unemployment, vagrancy – were the evils of the period  1590s the size of the workforce exceeded available employment  Average wages and living standards declined accordingly

21 Material culture, Art and Literature  1530-1569 – a yeoman’s house was three rooms  1570 and after – 6,7,8 rooms  Poorer families preferred ground floor extensions: kitchen, second bedchamber  Higher echelons of society the Tudor manor houses were characterized by increased luxury

22  Architecture: combined late medieval and classic styles, but aimed to show off the wealth: Hardwick New Hall, Derbyshire – acres of glass and towering  Tall brick chimneys – the arrival of fireplaces and kitchen within the main house  The long gallery hung with historical portraits  The art of painting and portraiture – transformed in Henry VIII’s reign by Hans Holbein the Younger

23  Before his coming to England the art objects were the tapestries  Henry VIII ordered a life-size wall painting at Whitehall to create visual propaganda  He was made to appear more imperial, richly decorated with jewellery  Prince Edward was depicted as a toddler wearing a fine red tunic decorated with shimmering gold thread

24  Caused the market for luxury goods and art works to boom – anyone who mattered wanted a portrait  Hilliard the painter of Elisabeth I – miniature  Musical development: organists, lute  England visited by Flemish, Italian and Spanish musicians  The influence of Venice, Florence, Mantua and Rome - madrigalists

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