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The Shaping of Western Civilization - In the period 1300–1550

What shaped Western culture in the period 1300–1550 more: the Black Death’s emphasis on the afterlife (the hereafter) or the Renaissance’s emphasis on human achievement (the here and now)? Choose one of these and explain your perspective.

* Start with a statement identifying your choice; this is your thesis. Then, support your choice with specific examples from at least three of the following categories:

*significant individuals (e.g., political or religious leaders, innovators, explorers);
*characteristics of worldview (e.g., philosophy, religion);
*social institutions (e.g., social mores, practices, hierarchies);
*patronage (discuss the patrons, their motives, influence, and resulting products or artifacts);
*the economies (e.g., changes, different economic systems, impact); and
*politics (e.g., forms of governance, power distributions, contests).

*This assignment provides you with an opportunity to practice prioritizing and using specific data to support your choice. Your example may touch on several of the above categories at once, but there should be at minimum three separate examples for which their connection to your choice is explained.


*Your essay must be a minimum of 500 words. Be sure to include an introduction.

Malanima, P. (2018). Italy in the Renaissance: a leading economy in the European context, 1350–1550. Economic History Review, 71(1), 3–30.

Burger, M. (2014). The Shaping of Western Civilization, Volume I?: From Antiquity to the Mid-Eighteenth Century. North York, Ontario, Canada: University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division. Retrieved from

The Shaping of Western Civilization - In the period 1300–1550

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