An Overview of the Changes during the High Middle Ages

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The High Middle Ages were a time of great change in the status and growth of Europe. The High Middle Ages marked a high point for that time in a couple of major ways. The first was through the growth of the population which in turn created events and created a upward shift in European culture. The changes included economy change and social change. These changes would be key in history and understanding the world as we know it today.

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Economic Change was one of the 2 big ideas which brought changes with it which were caused by the expansion of lands. The first change is that monks and serfs began to clear land which let farmers plant more and gain a larger storage of crops from which more money could be acquired. The second ties into the first which was the advancement in agricultural techniques and tools. Crop rotation methods allowed crops to be planted and harvested and a more rapid pace than before as now farmers could have rich and fertile land almost indefinitely and would not have to move their fields. The third was an increase in domesticated cattle which fertilized fields with their manure. The fourth was the spreading and sharing of knowledge, creating more effective water mills and weighting plows so they dug deeper and learning how to shoe animals so their hoofs would not be broken and or infected as often.

The fifth was utilizing and growing new crops in abundance which increased diversity in the food department such as fish, meat, dairy products and vegetables rather than just their usual diet of grains. The sixth was a big population boom which increased the need for food, clothes and other life necessities therefore increasing the economy enormously. The seventh was a boom in urbanization, creating more jobs, more towns, more diversity and a lessening of reliance on a lord of the land for everything. Urbanization also called for a more normal way to conduct business which created a need for a basis of payment so the coin evolved into a more normal way of paying rather than just for the rich. This in turned created banking, lending and investment opportunities. Number eight was trade. Textile production began to grow and grow with the population increase which in turn made Europe reach out and begin trading at a much larger scale than they were used too. The main trading group were merchants from Italy, mainly Venetian Merchants. This enlargement of the trading sector created new and improved business techniques such as the idea of credit and the idea of commercial partners.

Social change was the second of the two major ideas. Social change also brought with it changes that altered the social structure of the medieval feudal system. The first was the three estates, Those Who Work (Peasants and Serfs), Those Who Pray (Clergy and the Church) and Those Who Fight (Nobles and Knights). This was a major change because there was no blur between classes. Everyone knew who you were, what class you belonged to and what faith you identified with. The second smaller idea of social change was the idea of chivalry. The idea was present in the early middle ages, but it grew into something that all people were supposed to strive for in the high middle ages. Chivalry was the medieval system for a code of honor, which included your religious, social and moral code It was linked to how others saw your ethics or behavior and was commonly linked to Christianity’s faith and piety.

Troubadours were a large part in spreading how chivalry was something that all people should strive for as their songs and poems touched and moved people to try to strive for and better themselves. The third smaller idea was that of independent cities. These were the new fling as they were free from the feudal lords who had previously owned everything. This led to more freedom and creativity which produced ideas on how to further themselves and the world. The last idea was the formation of guilds. There guilds were often some of the most powerful influences in the areas that they were founded in as the merchants who owned them realized they could allow or not allow people to purchase from them. The guilds for the most part were egalitarian as they thought all people could start at the bottom of the guild, but achieve the title Master in that specified field. The guilds established a standard for the quality of items sold, they established a standard for the price of the item and regulated workers. These guilds eventually turned into modern day Unions.

The early middle ages differ from the high middle ages by the population numbers as in the early middle ages the population was slow to rise and didn’t really increase until it hit the high middle ages. They also differed in the decline of trade because the roman empire had just ended and the bridges the roman traders had built were burned metaphorically. Early middle ages also had a boom in migration which the high middle did not. The last thing that distinguishes the high middle ages and the early were that the early middle ages returned to systematic agriculture and the high middle created and invented new ways to farm.

The late middle ages differ from the high in multiple ways. As the high middle ages were ending wars broke out which started the roll downhill for the late middle ages to begin. War brought famine which decreased population even more and added to the decline of the middle ages into the late. Peasant uprising also stuck one of the last blows to the fragile frame holding the high middle ages together as they refused to work and farm. The last thing that toppled the high middle ages was the diseases and plagues that popped up, as the population took a massive hit and the jobs and people who had previously been doing this job and that job had no re

The High Middle Ages were a time of great inventions and great learning. The High Middle Ages marked a high point for that time and the majority of the achievements the had rolled over into our society today such as banks, trading, credit and commercial partners for the Economic side. For the social side we took their idea of guilds and created our unions. We also used their ideas of independent cities with their own governmental system and made our towns and cities. Overall the high middle ages left an impact on society today and impacted history today and back then.

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An Overview of the Changes During the High Middle Ages. (2022, Oct 01). Retrieved January 28, 2023 , from

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