The Medieval Industrial Revolution Essay Research Paper

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The Medieval Industrial Revolution Essay, Research Paper The Medieval Industrial Revolution covers a period in time from the tenth to fourteenth centuries. The power station of the time was the water wheel. There were two basic types of drive systems for the water wheel: water falling from above or the current pushing against the paddles at the bottom. This invention was the catalyst for many types of production from grain mills to beer making. This technology was primarily used by churchmen since they had the knowledge to operate it. The farmers were leased time in exchange for goods. The development of towns and cities logically occurred around the power source, the river or stream. Since the churchmen had control of the technology, acceptance was positive and trade was

flourishing. The Fairs were where bartering took place and exchange rates were developed due to the different countries currencies. Prosperity was everywhere and the content population grew. As always nature has a way of creating a balance, this came in the form of a Little Ice Age. Weather patterns became erratic and the grain harvests eventually failed resulting in famine. A second balancing event occurred next, The Plague. Carried by fleas from Caffa, a Genoese colony on the Black Sea. The result of an ill fated battle technique of the Mongols against the Genoese. Death was everywhere and the Fairs were no more. By the middle of the fifteenth century the population of Europe was half what it had been a hundred years before, and the common graves stretched for miles from every

town and village. After The Plague had ended those who were left inherited the wealth of those who succumbed to the flea, especially the church. In addition, to forget the terrible times they had survived, spending on extravagant items became the norm in all levels of society. But the textile industry gave the great connection for paper by way of the loom and spinning wheel. These two inventions allowed for the creation of more textile goods and the one that is directly connected to paper is underwear or bloomers made of linen. The former bone collector during plague times became the bone and rag collector. This large surplus of raw material for paper, linen, was quickly utilized, as parchment was extremely expensive. The next obstacle to overcome was the timely process of

copying texts by hand. Thus, the printing press was invented. The Chinese had been using the same technique, but since their language consisted of thousands of characters this was impractical. But the German language only had twenty-three letters. The reason for German was the inventor was German, Johann Gansfleisch, a.k.a. Gutenberg, due to his mother s family name. His skill with metalworking aided him in coming up with a uniform, moveable type system that would last. The printing press allowed the spread of information more easily. Human contact was not necessary now in order to learn how to do something. This was the first type of books that were printed. The next modification on the printing process was not so much in the process, but the type of books produced. Venice was

the home of Aldus Manutius, who realized in order to make the most money he had to keep the books inexpensive. The result was the world s first pocket books, The Aldine Editions. The Catholic Church realized with this new spread of information their authority was beginning to come into question. The saying knowledge is power, surely crossed their minds. As a result, they became the censor of the day and accepted no challenges to their ideology. The Church verified all printing, which led to the saying if it is in print, it has to be true. Even with this censorship, occult practices were often the medical norm of the day. Astrology played a vital role in not only medicine, but in planting of the crops as well. The astrologer and astronomer were considered one in the same, both