Christianity in Medieval Europe Essay Example
Before Medieval Europe changed their main religion to Christianity, Europe was home to a profusion of religious beliefs. Most of which are referred to as Paganism. Paganism is specifically a non-Christian religion or pre-Christian religion. Christianity eventually spread to the Roman Empire, which spread all around Europe.
After Christianity spread to Medieval Europe, it affected more than just the people. Everyone’s new ideas and beliefs coming into Europe lead to political, economic, and social changes. The spread of Christianity gave Europe stronger monarchies, weaker nobility, and the loyalty of common people to the king. Christianity dominated the lives of everyone in the Medieval period including peasants and nobles. Religious institutions like the church and monasteries became wealthy and influential. This is because the state allocated a significant budget for these religious activities. The amount of power that the churches had soon became a problem in society.
Churches abused their power by excommunicating people if they challenged or questioned the Pope’s opinion. Excommunication is when the Pope of a church banishes someone from the church. This became a problem because people were stuck between listening to their king or listening to their pope. The king became irritated at how much power the churches had. This was resolved when the king allowed an exception of the pope having the power to choose someone after them to run the church, but the king has the power to veto the pope’s decision.
Social classes also changed after Christianity spread to Europe. After christianity spread, the lower class or known as serfs, mostly stayed the same. They became more educated about agriculture and farming, but they still didn’t really have rights and couldn’t do much other than working on the land of the nobles. Nobles and Knight population continued to expand and more land was taken up. Monarch’s believed that God had given them the right to rule, so they ruled over everything and were unfair in some ways. For example, serfs weren’t allowed to stop working on their land. Their social classes would be inherited by their children and all of their family that comes after them. This ensured that if you were poor, you and your family would always be poor and vice versa. This system was put into place because people with more wealth believed that they should have more respect and power than people who aren’t as fortunate. Serfs had no way of overcoming their poverty and the government didn’t do much to help their situations. They also were mistreated and abused by their land owners. This social class organization would later change.
With Christianity coming into Europe, the government is funding churches and christian activities. Because the government was giving the church money to support Christianity, the church became very rich and powerful. Most of the time the government only funded the churches in fear of being excommunicated. People gave the church 1/10th of their earnings and since the church was considered independent, they didn’t have to pay the king taxes for their land. This made them even more rich and powerful and eventually led up to conflict between the churches and the king. Christianity soon took over the economy and almost all money went to funding churches.
Concluding, Christianity had a huge impact on the Medieval period in Europe and it affected almost everything in the lives of Europeans. It had mostly negative effects and surprisingly caused a lot of drama. It influenced serious changes in society by allowing people to choose to believe in a way of life.