In the Middle Ages were established and strengthened the nation-states in Europe. The nobles had almost unlimited power. The traders were getting richer, because they gave credit to the ruling class. The heretics were persecuted and killed because of their free thinking. In the 1340′s the plague or Black Death killed a third of the population. This was an important turning point which resulted important social and political changes in Europe.
In the Middle Ages, city state of Venice dominated all trade among Europe, Asia and Africa. So it became rich and powerful.
Venice was founded in Roman times by the Veneties. This nomadic tribe built their houses in a swampy area to piles and stone panels. Between the islands came into being canals. Because the area wasn’t suitable for agriculture, first they only occupied with fishing. Later they sailed farther and began to be traded. To 1,100 in Venice rich and wealthy merchants have lived in luxurious palaces. They traded with Byzantium and the Arabs. However, they also traded with Asia and Africa. World citizen population of Venice – Germans, Arabs, French, Italy, and Jews – many new innovations have been established. In the12nd century, the Venetians took part in the Crusades, so their power increased further.
After decline of Byzantium, Venice took over the trade. Important silands such as Corfu and Crete was uses as ports. Venice was famous for its precious stones and also glass goods. They bought silk, cotton and porcelain from China and spices from Zanzibar to Europe. in the 14th century Venice defeated its biggest rival, Genoa also and it had the most influence in Europe for the 15th century. Their silever and gold money everywhere accepted as currency. The Venetian banks were lending money to the traders, but there wasn’t compound interest on it. Thus encouraged the trade. Venice like the other cities in Italy an independent city-state. Their ruling was the Doge. The Doge always came from Venice’s most influential families and was elected for all his life. He had almost unlimited power over the government, the army and the church as well.
|Important dates in chronological order|
|726||Election of the first Doge|
|800′s years||Venice becomes a commercial port|
|1081||The Venetians commercial privileges acquired in Byzantium|
|1900′s years||The Arabs lost their trade rule over the Mediterranean sea|
|1192||Venetians transported Crusaders on their ships to Constantinople|
|1381||Genoa defeated by Venice|
|1400′s years||Europe’s economic center shifted to north.|
Written by Ilona Kaszanyi