Intellectualism is the basis of modernity; it tells a story of innovation, greed and higher thought. A prescription for modernity was drawn out of three events; the decline of the Papal monarchy, The Hundred Years War and the Black Death. The end results of these events showed that independently, whether feudal lord or commoner; that great new ideals can come out of a group of individual’s or one’s intellectual prowess.
When Innocent III, starts exercising Papal power outside of Rome, King John was the last to fall for Papal supremacy. In 1302, Bonifus VIII issues a papal bull “novorum remen” which meant that in addition to his investiture, he could also appoint or dismiss kings. Now the French King Philip and the English King Edward did not take lightly to that law, so they both hatched a plot to kidnap the Pope. They put Bonifus VIII in a castle in Avignon, France to take away his Papal power In Rome. This single-handedly started the fall of Papal monarchy. These kings in turn elected their own Pope in Rome, to make decisions for them. This was an event for everyone to behold, to think beyond Papal power.
The Papal Monarchy continued its rule after what is called the “Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy.” General ideas started rushing in Europe’s population, “Why does the Pope rule by “Divine Right”? Another ideas going around was “What government is the pope masquerading in?” The last action of the Pope‘s supreme power is seen and heard when two popes claimed this power people were questioning and then the contradictory claim of three popes that started the Great Western Schism. Kings, Princes, and subjects all were coming to a new conclusion about self sufficiency.
At this time, France and England were at war, fighting for the French crown. After the Hundred Years War, both countries were bankrupt. Then Feudal lords were getting stronger by the minute and the houses of York and Lancaster intelligently are at war against each other for the English Crown. Joan of Ark, a strong French warrior fought against the English fiercely to effectively drive away the English. She felt she was self guided by voices of individuals. Joan of Arc possessed many attributes characteristic of
visionaries of her time that were also known to rebel against the supreme Papal power during the Great Schism. She was admired by the French and that gave rise to new innovation during the crisis of the 14th century.
The Black Death in 1351 reached 60% of Europe’s population and mostly resulted in death of the crops and commerce while the farmers and merchants were dying. Prices skyrocketed because of a lack of people to produce goods. Kings start to help greedy and desperate merchants that were still alive. Although merchants are taxed incessantly by the kings. Merchants sought new, creative ways to make money which involved the age of exploration and Europe would never be the same again.
Several ideas come to mind when choosing who was responsible for the modernization of Europe, but crisis through crisis proved true that kings, princes, merchants and their subjects could imagine intellectual, admirable and lucrative ways to ultimately break into modernity to the future.