The medieval lord's rights to the produce and services of the peasantry made him a capitalist landlord.
The pattern of relationships had changed as many of the great estates remained intact.
The spirit of commercial enterprise had spread to the countryside.
Merchants began to buy estates and play the role of landed aristocracy, while intermarriage between bourgeois and landed families blurred the old distinctions.
Serfs were becoming freemen, merchants were becoming landholders, and noblemen were becoming capitalists.
Dislocations in society led to ethics problems.
The merchants and bankers of the early modern period separated commercial dealings from Christian ethics.
They had the same desire for gain as the landlords and rulers of medieval times.
The upstart could not hide their activities under the cloak of feudal and royal rights and customs.
The goals of hard work, punctuality, and saving overtook the religious ideals of meditation, prayer, and giving.
The Church no longer wanted to fight this challenge to its ancient ideals, so it might have mobilized its forces against it.
The popes and the clergy were enamored with wealth, power, and elegance, just like everyone else in Europe.
The bourgeois were the active carriers of morality.
High levels of influence are equal to that of counts or princes for some members of this class, like Jacques Coeur and Jacob Fugger.
The position of the class as a whole advanced slowly.
As long as land and its products remained the main forms of wealth, and as long as successful bourgeois invested their profits in buying land and trying to acquire noble titles, the nobles would keep their traditional position as the leading group in society.
From the 16th century onward, bourgeois ideals had a growing influence on society.
Technical progress went hand in hand with it.
Increased contact, both peaceful and warlike, with the intercontinental civilization of Islam exposed Europe to the often superior technology not only of the Arabs but of the Far East as well.
The result was a whole series of world-changing technical innovations, as Europeans adapted and improved on advances that they learned from other civilizations.
The measurement of time was changed by the Europe of the late Middle Ages.
One of the basic needs of growing medieval trade was for reliable methods of navigation for sailors at sea to be able to know where they were and what direction they must sail in to get to the ports.
European mapmakers began to produce accurate charts of the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines after building on geographical techniques developed by the Greeks.
There were new instruments of navigation.
The seaways of Europe used both aids to navigation by the early fifteenth century.
Sailing across oceans to distant continents would soon be helped by them.
Growing trade needed ships that were strong and easy to handle.
The design of ships in Venice and Genoa combined features of both the Mediterranean and the stormier Atlantic waters.
The triangular sails of their Mediterranean neighbors the Arabs made for easy maneuvering, as well as the stout hull and square, wind-catching sails of Atlantic ships.
The vessels of the most advanced non-European civilizations had a combination of speed, maneuverability, and seaworthiness that was unique to carracks.
Once they were equipped with another late medieval invention, three-masted ships would become unbeatable fighting vessels.
A carrack is the workhorse of European overseas exploration.
The two forward masts have square sails and the mast nearest the stern has a triangular sail.
The vessel has a cannon on the sides and at the stern.
The Chinese invention of gunpowder became known to Europeans in the 12th century, when Christian warriors in North Africa and Spain used it as a fire-starting weapon.
The idea of using the force of the explosion to hurl a projectile seems to have been a European one.
Cannons were too small, inaccurate, and slow to operate up to 1400, but in the 15th century they were much better.
Makers of church bells began using large-scale bronze-casting methods.
To make guns that were safe to use.
Cannonballs that were heavier in proportion to their size, more accurately spherical, and quicker to make than stone ones were started by Ironworks.
The gun carriages made the weapons mobile and absorbed the recoil when they were fired.
Water-powered hammermills were adapted to crush charcoal, sulfur, and dried animal droppings so as to produce gunpowder by the ton.
The problems of weight and motion were tackled by mathematicians.
By 1500, cannon could be used to smash any stone castle or town wall--let alone the wooden hull of sailing ships--and scaled-down versions of the big weapons were beginning to appear, which were small and handy for a single soldier to load, aim, and fire.
European traders and warriors had learned from the Muslims of peaceful as well as warlike Chinese inventions, most notably of paper and of woodcut printing.
It was cheaper to make paper from rags than it was from the skin of lambs or calves.
Writing out books by hand was slower than printing them.
The process involved carving a whole page of text and illustrations in a mirror image out of the surface of a single block of wood, then painting the block with ink, and pressing a sheet of paper onto the block with a roller.
The production of small books and items such as playing cards was done this way by 1400.
Hundreds of blocks had to be painstakingly chiseled and thrown away when the job was done, so it was an expensive way to produce large books.
Supposing that each individual letter was made in a mirror image on its own block, many blocks could be put together to form the text of a page, and reassembled any number of times to make new pages.
Even for the longest books, the printing process would become cheap.
Because of the large number of characters in Far Eastern writing systems, it was hard to manage all the different blocks and this idea never caught on there.
The basic advantage of belonging to a civilization that used an alphabetic writing system with relatively few characters was given to Gutenberg by the same idea.
It took twenty years of tinkering to put the idea into practice.
Gutenberg's greatest inspiration was to make the tiny single-letter blocks out of metal so that they could be quickly cast in molds rather than laboriously carved, and to adapt the centuries-old olive or grape press.
Pressure can be applied to the paper lying on the ink-smeared type.
He developed a reliable system of printing by about 1450.
The international trading and credit networks of early capitalism enabled books to find a mass market for the first time because of the new method of printing.
There were more than a thousand printers in Europe by the year 1500.
The influence of the printed word was much greater than that of the written word.
The Gutenberg printing process helped spread religious and cultural movements like Renaissance humanism and the Protestant Reformation, as well as the growth of powerful centralized governments with their need for law books and many kinds of standardized paperwork.
The introduction of the mechanical clock was one of the first things that happened in the late Middle Ages.
Astrolabes used dials with revolving pointers to measure the motion of the sun, moon, and stars in the sky, and the idea of the clock seems to have come from that.
Inventions in various countries began tinkering with ways to make the pointer "imitate" the sun and other heavenly bodies by moving around the dial.
Since the hours and days were determined by the motion of the sun, the motion of the pointer would measure the passage of time.
It would have to be done by itself for this to happen.
The necessary turning power could be provided by a falling weight attached to a cord.
There would have to be mechanisms to slow the weight's fall and "wind it up" again when there was no more cord left to use, and gearwheels to slow the turning motion even more.
The English monks looked for better ways of regulating their communities' complex daily routines of work and prayer and came up with solutions around 1300.
The lives of the townsfolk, with their hours of work fixed by guilds or settled privately between capitalists and their employees, also came to be regulated by the new time-measuring machine.
In a tower of town hall or cathedral, it was visible to all as its hand moved in step with the movement of the sun, and all could hear its tones, thanks to an improvement that was not long in.
The first steps toward the modern age of automation, mass production, mass communications, and firearms were taken by late medieval Europe.
By the end of the Middle Ages, firearms and the new sailing ships were helping rulers to build powerful centralized governments and sailors to explore and conquer across the world.
New developments in the patterns of government were bound up with the New Politics.
The rise of trade and banking made it easier for rulers to mobilize the resources of their countries because all classes of society now made payments in money.
Rents could be collected from peasants on their personal landholdings.
They could even get involved in commerce.
They could use national taxation to collect money from their subjects who lived on other lords' lands.
Wealthy bankers like the Bardi, the Peruzzi, or the Fuggers could come up with loans that were big enough to tide them over if the money from all these sources fell short.
rulers no longer had to rely on personal service from independent-minded vassals with all the money available They could do government business through officials who were bound to obey orders, and they could apply capitalist methods to warfare, making contracts with mercenary captains to supply trained soldiers with weapons.
The new methods were not more efficient than the old ones.
Most officials were not paid from the central government treasury but were expected to charge the public fees which they put directly into their own pockets--a license for every kind of fraud and corruption.
The soldiers would revolt for lack of pay if the military contractors did not provide the soldiers with their money.
The war was "state-of-the-art".
To the left of the town, pikemen are shown leveling their weapons, as cannon are emplacement to bombard the town.
The independence and lands of the feudal elite could not be touched as long as rulers needed knights on horseback to win battles and nobles could rely on their castles as safe refuges.
New weapons were used to equalize between foot soldiers and horsemen during the 14th and 15th centuries.
Cannons were able to smash stone fortifications by 1500.
The feudal nobles were unable to win battles or hold out in their castles.
The new weapons, particularly siege cannon or cannon-armed ships, were so expensive that only governments could afford them.
The nobles were not deprived of their leading place in society and government.
nobles did not find it beneath their dignity to be royal officials or captains of mercenary soldiers, as they were expected to invest their profits in land and be rewarded for their services to rulers with titles of nobility.
In the Holy Roman Empire, nobles were able to prevent the growth of centralized government, or roll it back for a time.
The countries that remained without a strong central government for a long time were bound to be dominated by their neighbors.
The successful European countries of the late Middle Ages were those where feudalism, with its divisions into small, centralized units, gave way to larger units of centralized power.
Since the end of the Roman Empire, Italy has been the scene of constant struggles for power among invaders, Byzantine emperors, Holy Roman emperors, and the popes, who remained enemies of Italian unity down to the nineteenth century.
The north of the peninsula has a lot of commercial and industrial wealth.
In the Middle Ages, northern Italy developed into a collection of rival city-states struggling against each other for survival.
Like the ancient Greeks, citizens of Italian city-states identified with the city of their region.
The city was close to and familiar with.
Dante was more of a Florentine than an Italian.
The internal politics of the Italian cities changed during these turbulent years.
Their citizens were incapable of stable self-government.
The bankers and capitalists, rising rapidly in wealth, tried to take political control from the more numerous small merchants, shopkeepers, and artisans.
Wealthy families competed with one another for special advantages.
The political strong men emerged during the 14th century.
Sometimes they were invited to assume power by one of the groups looking for an alternative to chaos, and sometimes they invited themselves.
They were supported by the bankers and the capitalists.
Italy was still the center of Europe a thousand years after the fall of Rome.
Milan and Florence were Europe's main banking centers.
Genoa and Venice had control of Mediterranean empires and sea routes.
The international Catholic Church was governed by the popes.
The Ottoman Turks, France, and Aragon already ruled the south of Italy and were threatening the world of these "great powers".
The conflicts within and between cities were decided by professional mercenary warriors.
They sold their services to the highest bidder.
They seized power when they turned down all the bids.
The politics of Italy had an unpredictable force that was thirstier for money than for blood.
Sforza was the ruler of Milan in 1450.
Milan enjoyed a half-century of peace and prosperity thanks to the policies of Sforza and his family.
The dictator supported the arts and attracted scholars to his city.
Florence remained a republic despite having experienced numerous upheavals and short lived tyrannies.
Cosimo de' Medici was heir to a wealthy banking family.
He and his successors held no major political office, but were able to control the machinery of government through manipulation, bribe, and force.
The Medici treated rival groups harshly and advanced their own financial interests.
Despite their methods, they were supported by most citizens, for they put an end to the rioting and confusion that had previously prevailed in the city.
Lorenzo the Magnificent was the most illustrious member of the family.
Florence was the cultural center of Italy under his rule.
Venice had a stable government since the beginning of the 14th century.
A small group of rich merchants were able to keep political control over the city and exclude the rest of the citizens.
Venice's constitution is the envy of its less fortunate rivals if the city are governed by committees elected from and by the merchants.
The doge had no independent authority.
The pope ruled over the States of the Church in the middle of Italy.
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was descended from territories conquered by the Normans in the eleventh century.
The States of the Church had a similar pattern of despotism to the rest of the country.
The popes used their office to further their wealth and rank and hired condottieri to reduce subject cities to obedient.
The Borgia pope, Alexander VI, was notorious for his faithlessness and immoral behavior; Julius II had a penchant for war; and the Medici Leo X was noted as an elegant connoisseur of the arts.
The qualities that were typical of the new era were not those of Peter the fisherman.
Alfonso of Aragon, the ruler of Sicily, won a major victory in the Italian power struggle when he acquired the kingdom of Naples on the mainland.
Cultural life flourished in the capital at Naples, despite the southern Italian countryside being agrarian and backward.
By the middle of the fifteenth century, the Italian states had expanded their boundaries.
The States of the Church and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies formed a kind of balance of power among the leading city-states.
The interplay of these states with each other and neighboring states, as well as the despotic methods of their rulers, formed the background to the thought of Niccolo Machiavelli.
There was a tendency to curb individual freedom in politics.
The citizens of the northern Italian city-states were proud and competitive men who were not afraid to submit themselves to absolute authority.
One city after another had accepted the rule of a dictator because of their long experience with factional rivalries and political instability.
Many Italians think that a uni fied, absolute government would benefit the whole nation.
In relation to cities, anarchy still reigned despite the fact that chaotic rule had brought down internal dissension.
These conflicts would cease if a dictator could bring all of Italy under his rule.
The argument for unity grew stronger after 1500.
The French and Spanish monarchs were able to take control of the Italian peninsula because of corrupt mercenaries.
Italy was in turmoil for a century because of the invaders.
Machiavelli, a onetime diplomat and close observer of Italian affairs, was the most able spokesman for Italian unification.
He set down his basic views in a manual, which he intended to be a guide for the man who would liberate Italy.
The book marks a turn in Western political thought.
Both branches of authority are subject to divine law.
He said temporal power is invested by God in the people as a whole.
The state is not a power in itself.
It gets authority from God through the people and must use it in a Christian way.
Medieval practices often seemed to disagree with this doctrine, but these were explained away as the result of human error.
The doctrine was rejected by Machiavelli, who stated the "modern" view of politics and the state.
He didn't feel like he was breaking away from traditional Christian teachings.
He felt that Christian teachings did not contribute to good citizenship and blamed the papacy for keeping Italy divided.
It operates according to rules that have grown out of the facts of human nature.
He placed politics on a purely secular level and removed politics from Christian ideology.
The evolution of the state in the future was prophesied by Machiavelli's view of government.
The evolution of European states from the 16th century onward was outlined by Machiavelli.
The state was to become the central force of modern times, a law that would subject both institutions and individuals to its will.
Machiavelli was concerned with means and ends.
The character of the citizens is important.
He admired the Romans of the ancient Republic and the self-governing Swiss of his own day, but he concluded that a republican form of government could only prosper if the citi zens possessed genuine civic virtue.
The Italians were seen by Machiavelli as corrupt beyond correction.
The ruler should first pay attention to military strength.
He believed that the prince had to devote himself to the training and discipline of his troops and keep himself fit to lead them.
Caesar had learned from Alexander that he had to practice maneuvers and study battles of the past.
The condottieri and their hirelings were contemptuous of Italy and incapable of defending the country from invasion.
He advised the prince to build an army of citizens drawn from a reserve of qualified men under a system of compulsory military training, for their interests would be bound up with his own.
Military strength is not enough.
The lion cannot defend himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves.
A ruler must have both strength and cunning.
The most successful princes of his time were masters of deception.
When the advantage passed, they broke their agreements to their advantage.
Whatever strengthens the state is right, and whatever weakens it is wrong, for power is the end and the means are justified.
The prince was warned not to reveal his true motives and methods for it would make him look bad.
The means will always be judged honorable and praised by everyone, so let a prince aim at conquering and maintaining the state.
The common people are taken in by appearances and the result of an event and the few who are not are isolated.
The rising monarchs of Spain, France, and England were cut to a different pattern.
Building on the inheritance left by strong rulers of feudal times.
They were aided in their efforts to extend state power in each country by growing national sentiment.
During the battle to expel the Muslims in Spain, the spirit of patriotism was born.
The unification of Spain was possible when the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile were linked through the marriage of King Ferdinand of Aragon in 1469.
The independence of the feudal lords, who had taken over most of the lands from the defeated enemy, was broken with popular c hapter 7.
They gained the right to name the Spanish Church's bishops.
By the close of Ferdinand's reign, the centralizing efforts of the two rulers had been completed.
The most powerful stimulant to national feeling in France was the Hundred Years' War.
There were conflicting feudal claims that led to this lengthy off-and-on struggle with the English.
The English rulers decided to regain their northern French fiefs in the 14th century after resenting the loss in 1204.
Edward III claimed the throne of France as well.
The long campaigns began.
Henry was accepted as heir to the throne by the French forces.
The French people were surprised by the humiliation at the hands of foreigners.
After the throne fell vacant, they found an inspiring leader in a peasant girl called Joan of Arc, who in 1429 persuaded Charles, the disinherited son of the former French king, to march to Reims.
Joan took command of a small military force and vowed to drive the English out of France.
The young prince was crowned as Charles VII after Joan's appeal and went on to lead his armies to victory over the English.
Joan did not live to see it.
She was burned at the stake by the English after they tried her as a witch.
The martyr Joan has been revered as a symbol of French patriotism for hundreds of years.
The growth of royal authority was disrupted by the war.
Charles VII and his son, Louis XI, were able to move quickly with the work of political centralization after it was over.
The kings of France were able to build armies that were more than just a match for their opponents.
Charles succeeded in raising more revenue for the armies than the monarch had ever received.
The Estates-General of France was summoned in 1439 in preparation for the English.
The power to authorize new taxes was held by this body, which represented the three estates.
Charles's national army was approved by the EstatesGeneral in a burst of patriotism.
Charles was able to act independently of the nobles thanks to the new revenue and income from his own lands.
The great fiefs were brought back into the royal domain by deception, threats of force, and marriage alliances.
The size of the royal domain was doubled by Louis XI.
Even though it was legally subject to the French crown, the duchy of Burgundy had long been independent.
The last duke tried to expand his holdings into a major state between France and Germany.
Louis took over the duchy when he died without a male heir.
The role of the nobility changed when the monarchy consolidated its power.
The monarchs received financial aid from the wealthy bourgeois.
The towns became allies of the king.
At the request of the crown, the Estates-General met from time to time.
It might have become a constitutional body of importance, as did Parliament in England, but class and sectional rivalries prevented this from happening.
The Estates-General was never a serious challenge to royal authority, and it was to be forgotten in 1789.
The king's control over secular matters was not checked.
To be absolute, power must embrace ecclesiastical matters as well.
Charles did not overlook the clergy.
The people of France were influenced by the influence of the archbishops, bishops, and abbots.
They supported the king's efforts to end feudal warfare.
They were jealous of their own privileges but still loyal to the pope.
The French clergy acted independently of Rome after the papacy collapsed.
The French bishops and abbots resented papal interference in local administrative affairs because they didn't want to overturn traditional Church doctrine and institutions.
The popes continued to insist on the right to fill important ecclesiastical offices, which DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch They took a lot of Church revenues to Rome.
There was mounting sentiment for a self-governing "Gallican" Church as national feeling grew.
In 1438, the clergy, with Charles's approval, formally declared its independence from the pope at the Council of Bourges.
Payments and appeals of local decisions to Rome were forbidden by the decree.
The Gallican Church was given control of it by this move.
Francis I struck a deal with the pope that extended the influence of the crown over the Church after Louis XI revoked the decree.
Francis secured the right to appoint French bishops and abbots in a treaty with the pope.
The first year's income of Church officeholders in France was granted to the papacy in return for this right.
The pope gained additional revenue and the king brought the Church into his control.
The Hundred Years' War strengthened national feeling in England, but it weakened the position of the monarch because the war was lost.
The kings of England had to make concessions in order to raise money for the expeditions to France.
Parliament began in the 13th century.
The king needed the advice and consent of his barons before taking measures such as the levying of unaccustomed taxes.