Academic Master


What were the ‘disasters’ that Europe suffered during the fourteenth century, and what were their consequences?

The Black Death that occurred in the 14th century wiped approximately half of the people. The scarcity of the labor was encountered, and the poor couldn’t find the work. This lets to revolt and repressment of the government leading to improvement of the poor people’s condition. The kings offered new taxes to the landowners, clergy and the merchants and it was refused by taxpayers. There was internal division in France which led to 100 years of war with England, but they ended up winning due to the patriotism from people led by Joan of the Arc. There was spread of power in England to get enough money, but Barons were unruly hence they led to War of Roses. The church of Medieval became corrupt, and the people became out of touch making it unchangeable by anyone. In the moment of the Babylonian Captivity, the splitting of the Cardinal College brought two popes having both with different allies. However, the third was elected and both deposed but they never gave up the power. Martin V reaffirmed the papal supremacy in 1414, but the fact of the moving corruption, simony and also nepotism in the region increased significantly. The papacy was later turned to the “cultivated gentlemen” like the painters, scholars and the architect.

2. Who were the ‘New Monarchs’ that ruled in Europe during the second half of the fifteenth century, how did they justify their ambitions, and what effect did their ‘New Monarchies’ have on political, social, and religious developments?

The Tudor dynasty started with Henry VII, and it went from 1485 to 1603 in England. The civil issues that led to the War of Roses were ended by Henry VII. He also imposed laws to the lords who had private armies. The handling of the disputes was done by the king. It became popular, but it was later condemned as a means of the despotism. He appeared to be unpleasant but considered as a good leader. The Valois line of the ruling was started by Louis XI in 1461 in France. Using war, inheritance, marriage, and intrigue, he was able to expand the borders past Paris. He develops the internal army that he used to subdue the nobles and suppress the brigands. He also imposed control to the clergy, and by the help of the Pope Leo X, he rescinded a pragmatic sanction. By 1469 Spain was in two Kingdoms. Ferdinand ruled the Aragon and Isabella ruled Castile. The country lucked judicial, political and also administrative institutions. The marriage was a key aspect in joining the kingdoms but it still possessed two different rulers, and there was no sense of union. Both rulers brought compulsory religion conformity, and thus they expelled all the Muslims and the Jews.

5. What were the principal issues addressed by the Peace of Westphalia?

The choice of the German’s religion was base the Peace of Westphalia and the renewal of the Peace of Augsburg. This also brought the addition of Calvinism to the Lutheranism and the Catholicism as a form of acceptable faith. The Catholic claimed the territories by means of churches in 1552 after being abandoned, which is Protestants victory. Then there was the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. The Swiss Cantons and the united province were considered to be independent while the Swiss since the Dutch were not part of the Empire. Sweden and France got part of the initial Empire. The region of Germany was divided into 300 independent sovereign nations that permitted them to negotiate an external trade that is free from the rule of the empire. This was important in the elimination of the political power. They became independent from the “Superior rule.” The new laws, army recruitment, payment of taxes, declaration of the war and rectification of peace were not allowed without the consent of all state rulers. A third of Germany’s populations were lost in the 30 years war, and a lot of it became looted and wrecked. Therefore, Europe was considered as a big group of sovereignties of every other and the free acts of the state diplomacy


1. Discuss the importance of the Italian Renaissance for the development of Western civilization, comparing and contrasting it to the Renaissance that took place in Europe north of the Alps.

The new way of thinking about the world was led by the Italian Renaissance. This involved every area of the culture that is neither scientific nor theological, but it concerns the moral and the civic questions that ask what a man should do in the reflection of the matters of the style, taste, personal character, property, education and also decorum. It’s a renaissance in Italy that the first pure secular attitude appeared first. All the towns in Italy were independent states, and some of them were being led by the local despot while the others were individual republics. They grew in trade, and the merchants made the chances to increase commerce. The Florence was run by the Medici family, starting from the wool trade to a wealthy banker under the power of the Lorenzo the Magnificent.

The humanism came into existence where the man was not considered to be a frail creature rather shaped the world and brought success in everything. In the admiration of the classical styles and forms, the humanist demonstrated it in the classic Latin. The advancement in the school brought the separation of the students basing on their skills and the age making an efficient educational system. The City stated didn’t join together, and thus war was common. The attempt of the Machieveli to convince the Italians to come together was considered as a cynical. Due to poor unity, the Spain and Germany took Rome in 1527.

However outside Italy were different since there were strong religious sentiments to deepen the understanding of the Christianity humanism studies like the Hebrew, the Latin and also Greek texts. The bankers controlled a larger amount of the capital in Germany thus making it an economic center. Science also advanced like Johanna Muller who have a mathematical conception of a universe and the astronomy was with Nicholas Copernicus. The Mysticism illustrated that a human beings soul could be able to communicate with God directly. Thus they don’t need any sentiment, reason or word, but they could not go against the church since they were all seeking a more deep religion without the presence of the church. The Medieval thoughts were later ridiculed by Erasmus of Rotterdam. He had a proper understanding of the need for the change, but it was through education and not through power. He wrote the new edition of Old Testament in the Latin and Greek with somehow fewer mistakes. The Christians were encouraged by him to make use of the New Testament so that they can improve their behaviors.

5. During the second half of the 16th century, Spain, under the rule of Charles V followed by his son Phillip II, was the most powerful kingdom in Europe militarily and economically, but by the early 1600s had been eclipsed by England and the Netherlands. Discuss the events that led to this situation, explaining how they were part of an international politico-religious struggle.

There was the inheritance of some of the provinces and towns by Phillip II in his time of the Spanish rule. Some of the inherited towns and provinces include Netherlands, Naples, Milan, Portugal, America, and Burgundy. He had a belief that Spanish was the leader of the European Catholic and this made him be a staunch Catholic. However, he was unable to gain the trust of the other nations concerning the religion. The provinces from Netherland and the other Low Countries went against Phillip II the moment 200 nobles from different provinces decided to found a league that will keep I check the influence of foreign Spain. They needed to withdraw from the Spanish Inquisition from the Netherlands, but it was denied. This led to the destruction of the 400 churches as they were revolting, this made Phillip II to sent the inquisition in. Many of the people were sentenced to death, and the new taxes were levied while the noble lost their states. This brought unity among people of all classes against Spain.

England also joined the war and allied with Netherland so that they can protect their interests. They became a wall Protestants emerging against Spain all over Europe. To respond to the joining of English to the fight, Phillip II sent the Spanish Armada who was destroyed in the English channel. Later in 1609, there was an agreement on the Twelve Years Truce leading to the separation of the seven Northern provinces (Dutch) and ten southern provinces (Spanish Netherland). All the Protestants went to the north while the Catholics went to the south. The prosperity of Spain continued for half a century, but it declined politically and economically due to the death of Phillip II. They survived on the shipment from the Indies as the unity of the Spanish kingdoms falls apart.

The English confidence increased due to the end outcomes of the struggle. Also, English started developing unity within them. As time passed, Spain was losing a bigger number of their population as they were driving the Muslims from the country. The number of the aristocrats who believed that they are above the task that is required to be done also increased. Therefore these are what piloted to the fall of the Spanish kingdoms.


Bonney, R. (1991). The European Dynastic States. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pierson, P. (1999). The History of Spain. London: Greenwood Press.

Richardson, G. (2002). Renaissance Monarchy. London: Oxford University Press.

Ruiz, T. F. (2001). Spanish Society. New York: the University of California at Los Angeles.




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