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High and Late Middle Ages

- Intellectual Growth and Ferment -

- Political Developments -

- Cultural Unity -

- Rise of National Awareness -

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By the year 1050, Europe was entering a period of great and rapid transformation. The conditions of material life that produced the transformation are not yet well understood, although the following may be noted with certainty: The long period of Germanic and Asian migrations had come to a definite end, and Europe enjoyed a continuity of settled population; a population expansion of striking proportions had begun and was to continue. Town life, which had never entirely ceased during the previous centuries, experienced remarkable growth and development, thereby breaking the tendency of the medieval farm toward economic self-sufficiency. Trade and commerce, particularly in the Mediterranean lands of Italy and southern France and in the Low Countries, increased in quantity, regularity, and extent.

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