History of the European Middle Age
European history, according to Flavio Biondo, is divided into three time zones: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and Modern Times. The years included begins from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century to the start of the Early Modern Period (16th century). This period of time saw the rise of nation-states, the beginning of Western Christianity in the Reformation, the peak of humanism in the Italian Renaissance; as well as the start of European imperialism. This era is also attributed to the first sustained urbanization of both northern and western Europe. Many modern European states owe their beginnings to the events that unfolded during the Middle Ages. European political boundaries today are the result of the military and dynastic achievements.
A significant occurrence in this period was the breakdown of Roman society that resulted in changes in the powerful empire. In this period, the empire failed to support the massive civic infrastructure, libraries, public baths, arenas, and major educational institutions. Following the Muslim conquests of the Persian Empire, Roman empires, Visigothic Spain and Portugal, Sicily, and southern Italy during the 7th and 8th centuries is the decline of the Roman Empire. The Western Roman Empire became a rural area by the end of the 8th century. The church and monasticism rose during the Middle Ages. It unified beliefs as well as preserve its collection of Latin learning, maintaining the art of writing, and most importantly, kept a centralized administration through its network of bishops. The monks and monasteries became the centers of everyday activities and affected various religious and political aspects as land trusts for powerful families, centers of propaganda, and royal support in acquired areas became bases for mission and Christianization.
The rise and fall of the Carolingian Empire also occurred during this age. What followed was the Renaissance. This period had increased literacy, development in the arts, architecture, jurisprudence, as well as liturgical and scriptural studies as its culminating achievements. Christian crusades were also notable as armed pilgrimages aimed at liberating Jerusalem from Muslim control became rampant from most portions of Europe. This period saw the rise of strong, independent, royalty-based nation-states, specifically the Kingdom of England, France, and Germany. The Hundred Years War between France and England lasted for 116 years, covering 1337 to 1453 occurred at this time.
This part of history matters today. The European Council, composed of nation empires of that era, is shaping and balancing global power between eastern (Arabic) and western (North America) blocs. This has a heavy implication on every individual today who is either influenced by organizational changes or the rising and more progressive internet-based individual efforts.