Using specific examples from the period 1000–1300 CE only, explain how you would rank the importance of religious, economic, and political factors in medieval societies.

In medieval societies, religious factors preceded political and economic ones. The Catholic church was Europe’s central authority, with the Pope often sanctioning the actions of Europe's monarchs. The Catholic church owned a great deal of land, controlled the economy, penalized its followers for indiscretions against the Church, and kept a hierarchy of control over its followers.

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From 1000 to 1300 CE, the forces of organized religion determined the politics and economics of medieval societies. The Catholic church was the central authority and therefore the predominant force in culture, driving politics, economics, and religious factors throughout medieval Europe. There was no separation at this time of church...

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From 1000 to 1300 CE, the forces of organized religion determined the politics and economics of medieval societies. The Catholic church was the central authority and therefore the predominant force in culture, driving politics, economics, and religious factors throughout medieval Europe. There was no separation at this time of church and state. Rather, the Church was the central authority for all three.

The church owned not only monetary treasure but also a great quantity of land throughout Europe from which they controlled an agricultural economy. They sanctioned the actions of monarchs and their followers. Therefore, the Church controlled the politics of state leaders. Anyone that disagreed with the Church could be exiled and/or executed as penalty.

Finally, the Church was hierarchical in its religious traditions so that knowledge was kept stratified among Catholic followers. For instance, only certain classes could access the interior of a church on Sundays, readings were done silently so the congregation could not hear, and furthermore, church texts were written in Latin, not the common language of the people. In this way, only a minority of people would have had access to specialized knowledge about the Church. The common people put on Mystery Plays, playing out biblical stories only loosely based in the teachings of the church.

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