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The Winds of Change

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The Winds of Change

From the beginning of the 1300's and in the 15th century, the world began to witness the beginning of nation states, a country formed by common people whom share the same language, heritage, race and so on and so forth. This growth was not sparked by one single event as many other things have, rather this growth began as a result of a series of events all across the European continent. From the signing of the Magna Carta, to the decline in feudalism and also the decline of the influence of the Church, events rapidly began occurring across Europe that lead to this growth in European nation states. For this growth to occur it meant that change was needed, power for some individuals and groups needed to be lessened in order for nations such as England, France and also Russia to become nation states. The decline in feudalism was particularly significant as well as in some way surprising because feudal society was based on an economic set up of landowning and agriculture. The agricultural economy very much depended on the feudal system, and dominated by the concept of self-sufficiency. So without a doubt, with the growth in nation states, came changes and growth in the economy. A feeling of nationalism spread across various countries, and slowly we began to witness the influence of the church declining and the feudal system crumbling and we began to see nation states developing across Europe.

For hundreds of years, the Medieval Feudal system had worked very well, however it was the decline of this Feudalism which was one of the leading causes of the growth of nation states on the European Continent. Feudalism was a concept in which land was divided by the kings to nobles and vassals, and in exchange for this land they would offer in a sense "military protection". After the Crusades in the Middle Ages it became much easier to trade to and from England, and this lead England to become a nation based on what would be described as a money based economy rather than how it would previously be described as a land based economy, this transition is one of the main steps in tracing the growth of European nation states. Another reason for the decline of Feudalism at this time was surprisingly The Black Death, which ended the lives of around thirty percent of the English population at the time, this allowed for unemployment rates to decrease and gave more opportunity to others, and it became more difficult to have labourers work on for a example a farm as they used to in a Feudal system, and it became very expensive to hire labourers. As we were nearing the end of the Middle Ages, King Henry VIII had a disagreement with the Pope at the time, this was detrimental to the Feudal System. The King had always 'answered' to the Pope. However, when they clashed it lead to the establishment of the Church of England and also resulted in a large decrease in the number of Monasteries in the nation. As a result of all this, a Centralised government was formed, and all across Europe in nations such as France and many other Western European countries, centralised governments developed. Slowly many countries began to have a Centralised government and this marked the end of the Feudal system and a new era for Europe.

After the events of the 1300's, the people's faith in both Feudalism and the Church began to decrease and this feeling of faith was replaced by a new



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