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great famine

Beginning in 1845, a severe blight struck the European potato crop. in Ireland, the results were devastating and millions died, with even more immigrating to Canada and the United States. The event is also so called the Potato Famine.

black death

The worst plague in European history, lasting from about 1347 to 1352. In this time, over 1/3 of Europe's population died from a combination of three diseases: the bubonic plague, the septicemic plague, and the pneumonic plague. They were known collectively as this, and victims died a terrible death. It was brought in on fleas on rats on international trade ships. There were no logical explanations - some common ones were that planets were aligned in a poisonous way, Jews were poisoning the drinking water, or it was punishment for sin.

black rat

carrier of Black Death


Popes of this place were French, and abused their power in such a way that they had great financial success, but lost political power. Because they were solely French, they had less influence outside of France. Germany and Italy openly defied this papacy. The Popes turned inwards, and managed to secure all the legal and financial success of the church for the Pope himself. They made money from sales of indulgences and church offices.

babylonian captivity

The period when all popes were French and resided in Avignon, France, starting with Clement V. This angered Italians and led to the Great Schism.


the buying and selling of church offices


The holding of several benefices, or church offices.


an official not participating in benefices but receiving payment and privileges. One of the corruptions in the Catholic Church

great schism

a division in the medieval Roman Catholic Church, during which rival popes were established in Avignon and in Rome.


the claim that the general councils of the Church were now the supreme authority (rather than the Pope) and could dissolve a pope's power

john wycliff

English professor who questioned the authority of Pope; says bible has final authority; inspires Huss; translates the Bible to English


An English Protestant sect that stressed individual reading and interpretation of the Bible. founded by john wycliff

council of constance

In 1417, this ended the schism between the Avignon and Roman papal courts by removing authority from all three popes then claiming to be the true "vicar of Christ" and electing Pope Martin V, a compromise candidate. Martin subsequently returned the papacy to Rome.

jan hus

The leader of the Czech religious reforms, and the spiritual founder of the Protestant reformation in the 1500's. He was convicted by the Council of Constance for heresy.

craft guild

organization of skilled workers engaged in one particular craft

clergy & laity

Laity (parishioners) exercised more control over affairs as clergy lost moral high ground

peasant revolts

1524: Peasants raided monasteries, pillaging, and burning. Luther first supported then opposed the peasants.


the everyday language of people in a region or country


ability to read and write. went up with the translation of the bible into vernacular

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