I’ve learned many things about the Middle Ages, some things interesting some things horrible but there was nothing I found as shocking as the gap between the different classes and what I found was even more shocking is how this affects us nowadays.
In the Middle Ages peasants lived in terrible conditions because they didn’t even have toilets and their houses were filled to the brim with rats and even worse the only thing they had was the food they farmed (which wasn’t a lot) and the pope demanded that the peasants payed him 10% of what they had, that plus the tax for the lords equalled a terrible life. While this was happening the kings were sitting on their thrones eating in a single meal for than a peasant has eaten in their entire life and having an insane amount of power without having to move a finger. This relates how in real life the rich continue to get richer while poor people continue to get poorer and the difference is so big that the rich have enough money to buy an entire country while the poor aren’t even able to find a place to live in.
Another thing that surprised me was justice in the Middle Ages which shouldn’t even be called justice because of was unfair it was. In the Middle Ages if a peasant would commit a crime he would be judged with a trial by ordeal which was basically death or death, this consisted on someone’s limbs being restrained and then being thrown in the water. If you floated you were found guilty (you were killed) and if you didn’t you died by drowning. While this was happening to the Peasants if a lord or a king did the exact same thing they would have to fight the person that accused them of the crime to the death and if they won they were granted their freedom.
The last thing that I thought was important to say was the amount of power the church had, they weren’t only extremely wealthy but they also controlled everyone because they could excommunicate anyone (which meant that they would go to hell) so everybody feared them and that fear allowed them to do anything they wanted including something like the Crusades which lasted over 200 years and all of that happened just because the church said so. The church even had power over the king because as I said earlier the church could excommunicate anyone.
In my opinion the quest for power affected most people negatively because it killed thousands and made many others suffer deeply, but even though it was mostly negative there was also positive effects caused from it, for example because so many peasants died the ones remaining started charging way more because there was no one else to do the job so for the first time in over 200 years they were finally caught a brake.
In conclusion the Middle Ages were terrible because of many things but thanks to them we learned how terrible things can be if one person holds all the power and this has allowed us to generate a system where not one person holds the power but and finally because of that if the power goes to someone’s head there are many people who can stop them.