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University Degree: Medieval History

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 6
  1. Marked by a teacher

    If sodomy/homosexuality was 'unmentionable' in the Middle Ages, how can we write its history?

    5 star(s)

    Of the secondary evidence available to us through the study largely of gender, again, caution is important. Often, the writing must be seen as promoting a particular point of view. It is my belief that this essay will highlight three key issues. Firstly, the study of homosexuality in the middle ages is vital for the understanding of the evolution of gay culture. Secondly, that what we term as homosexual in the Middle Ages varies enormously with today's concepts of being gay.

    • Word count: 3250
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Did the state of the English Church by the 1530s mean that it was "ripe for reform"?

    4 star(s)

    If it is reasonably clear how the reformation evolved in England it is far more uncertain why these changes occurred. There is a spectrum of explanation for the reformation, ranging from pure political events as the cause to the conversion of the population at the other extreme. Although it would be unwise to claim that only one of these was prevalent, historians have disagreed as to which is the most significant. If the government was predominantly responsible for the events of reformation this would not indicate that the church or its ideology was in any sense in a poor state that demanded reform.

    • Word count: 1714
  3. Marked by a teacher

    What were the main causes of population decline in England from the beginning of the fourteenth century?

    4 star(s)

    of the wealthy and the monks who kept detailed records which although useful is frustrating as they are hardly likely to be representative of the population as a whole. Though they are useful as a guide, if their death rate increases it is likely the rest of the countries did too though by what rate it is difficult to know. Hatcher describes the sources as "hard to win and treacherous to interpret."2 The best quality sources are monastic records whose problems I have already described.

    • Word count: 2669
  4. Marked by a teacher

    T o what extent does the Demographic Transition Model provide a reliable and accurate representation of Europe's demographic past? What are the main problems of measuring the chief variables in the model?

    4 star(s)

    Stage One (UK pre 1760) is characterised by high birth rates, high death rates and slow rates of population growth, occurring in a traditional, agricultural society. Population levels fluctuate somewhat but there is no steady growth. There is a lack of medical care or sanitation and little use or access to birth control. Large families have cultural and religious value and are needed for agricultural labour. Mortality decline precedes fertility decline. Thus stage two (UK 1760-1880) indicates increasing rates of demographic growth, typical of a modernising society beginning the process of industrialisation.

    • Word count: 3238
  5. Marked by a teacher

    Response to Pandemic Death: The Black Death in Europe

    4 star(s)

    Europe spent the majority of the fourteenth century in an economic slump; small villages were becoming overcrowded, famine weakened the lower and middle classes, and the general public was not in a state of well being (Zeigler 32). Famine was a result of poor farming due to erosion, extreme cold weather, and inability to properly take care of the land (33). Death due to starvation skyrocketed with the rapid increase in population and the inability to feed them (34). There small wars being fought from the British Isles to the eastern most parts of Europe where the Black Death was said to originate (Mullet 21, Janis, McNeill 159).

    • Word count: 3237

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • The scale of the raids, the density of the settlements and the degree of destruction have been greatly exaggerated'. Discuss this assessment of Viking activity in England in the ninth and tenth centuries

    "Nils Lund claimed it was misleading to arrange numbers, influence and permanent effects co-ordinately, the latter two being the premises, the first the conclusion drawn from these. Again and again we come back to the same question of whether it is possible for a small group of invaders to effect large-scale change (and, in relation to the Vikings, destruction). As we have seen, the Vikings had a massive and permanent impact on English society, partly positive, partly negative, but always significant. Hopefully it has been established that it is not necessary for there to have been thousands of invaders for this change to happen, at least in the first place. We need to remember to see the Viking period as fragmented: the early period being a great deal more destructive; the later period more constructive, however unless significant archaeological evidence comes to light, we cannot draw firm conclusions on the scale of the Viking raids or the density of settlement, or the timescale involved."

  • To what extent did commerce flourish in this period?

    "Trade can indeed be seen to have grown during and following the eighth century but this is only relative to the period before. There are two further arguments against a view that trade flourished in this period. Firstly compared to the Roman Empire, where trade was abundant, the volume of trade is still relatively small. Secondly, throughout much of the period under consideration trade was practically non-existent following the fall of the Romans. In conclusion trade did not flourish in this period. It is fair to say that there was a period of growth after 700 but this was preceded by a period of considerable decline; therefore the growth that was taking place started from practically zero and was not sufficient to return commerce to the levels enjoyed by the Romans. However this growth is important as it paved the way for the rapid expansion and flourishing trade which can be seen at the turn of the millennium and thereafter. 2068 words"

  • Can We Distinguish Between a ‘Revolution’ and a ‘Social Movement’? To What Extent Can It Be Argued That the Age of Revolutions Is Over?

    "In conclusion it can be seen that there are some ways in which the praxis of revolutions and social movements differ, such as the degree of violence used and the participation and dedication of the members. Although revolutions are borne from social movements, very few social movements engender a revolution. The majority of social movements are of the type that do not have revolutionary intentions but aim to change specific aspects of society. It is these which now have a far greater chance of success than those with revolutionary aims. The classic type of revolution can be considered over in the West where security is tight, peoples' basic needs are satisfied, international links are strong and where there is no cause yet great enough to unite sufficient numbers of people. Revolutionary movements do however, have the potential to succeed in the developing world where hunger, mass poverty, religious fundamentalism and lack of democracy are able to fuel a revolutionary outcome. A more sophisticated, non-violent revolution, does however, seem possible engendered by a strong coalition of social movements opposed to the globalisation of capitalism."

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