Turning Points in History

Topics: Black Death, Middle Ages, Bubonic plague Pages: 2 (425 words) Published: December 17, 2007
In global history, many civilizations have undergone changes that historians consider turning points. A turning point is a point in time at which a significant change occurs that affects a whole society's way of life. There are many examples of turning points in the past.

One turning point is in the Commercial Revolution of the middle ages. Feudalism in medieval Europe was ruthless. The manor economy was based on land, so those who had land also held the wealth and power. When trade expanded and businesses grew, a new social class emerged that was based on a money economy. This new class, the middle class, consisted of merchants, traders, and artisans. As feudalism declined, capitalism surfaced. Capitalism is based on trade and a standard called supply and demand. If the demand for a product is high, the price raises and the workers make a larger profit. On the downside, if the demand is low, so are the price and wages. The reason why the commercial revolution is such a turning point is because it restructured medieval society. Feudalism declined, so the lords needed money to buy goods, which they bought from peasants. This changed the way government worked because instead of peasants paying with labor, they were paying with money.

However, some turning points are not so supreme. The bubonic plague or Black Death was a disease spread by fleas that lived on rats. After being bitten by the rat, one would suffer from swellings and bruises on their skin. At the time no cure was known, so many died of this illness. In the early 1300s, the bubonic plague became a devastating epidemic. It swept across Asia, even as far as Spain and France. It changed the way of life for a large amount of time. Population sizes decreased, and so did the economies and trade. Because the production declined, the people left to manage the business had to deal with increasing wages for higher demands. The strict social classes began to collapse, and society was chaos. People began...
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