The greatest continuity and similarity was the continuation of the dominance of Christianity through Europe; in fact through this time period it was still known as Christendom. The Popes of the period remained quite powerful and often exercised considerable political power. Notably, when Emperor Henry IV was excommunicated, he stood in the snow outside the palace of Pope Gregory VII to beg forgiveness. Although King Henry VIII separated England from the Catholic Church, England remained a Christian country. Islam was the only other religion remotely prevalent in Spain, however most Islamic people were forced to convert or leave the country by the time of the Reconquista in 1492.
Additionally, Europe remained a largely agricultural society in which nobility separated themselves from the peasantry and commoners not only by their right to bear arms but also by their large estates. The Nobility had been granted large estates of land under the old feudal system, and retained this system for many years. It was the availability of open land for anyone in North America which prevented the establishment of a system of nobility in that area.