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Unit 2: How Trade and Travel Changed the World

Lesson E: Rise of Early Europe

Review and Assessment


During the Medieval Period, Europe remained an unstable region but as the Medieval Period passed, Europe started to regain its stability. The political and economic changes of the late Medieval Period were the first steps in Europe's eventual rise as a dominant region. These changes included the end of feudalism and the creation of more centralized kingdoms ruled by powerful monarchs. This shift accelerated the pace of global connectedness, allowing European states to access foreign goods and eventually influence development around the globe. These changes challenged the power held by Asia and Middle Eastern empires, and welcomed the world into the Modern Period.

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The rise of European states and the challenge to control travel and trade in Eurasia signaled the beginning of the Modern Period. The decline of feudalism and rise of monarchies and states throughout Europe were caused by significant changes. The effects of the Black Death and Hundred Years War accelerated many of these changes. The initial leaders in maritime travel and trade were Portugal and Italian city-states, who used their location and innovations to challenge the larger land-based empires of the Middle East, India, and China. As the early Modern Period evolved, European states continued to grow in influence and soon become sea-based empires that dramatically altered global political and economic systems. Think about these examples as you complete the BCR below.

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Brief Constructed Response - The Origins of a Euro-Centered World

Why was Europe able to rise to power by the early Modern Period?

  • Explain the reasons for the decline of feudalism and rise of European states during the period 1300-1550.
  • Why were Portugal and Italian city-states able to challenge control over travel and trade of luxury goods?
  • Include details and examples to support your answer.

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