The history of the modern world derives from thousands of years of human history. Embedded in its history are the many eras of man which have constructed our modern learning, art, beliefs, and order. The middle ages, although represented as "dark", backwards, and idle, were in fact a bridge linking the classical and modern world. Medieval society may not have been in a sense glorious, but the era of itself was a prime foundation of the modern world's newfound stability, a revival of the law and teachings from the classical era, a reinvestment and reform in the church, and a precursor to the golden age of art. The government of the middle ages, as convoluted and variable as it was, ended up giving way to a powerful revival of monarchial control. The feudal age had erupted due to the monarchs inability to rule and defend holistically it's country during Norse and foreign invasions in the 700's to 1000's AD.
The emphasis shifted instead to local lords and nobles who drew the king's power for greater local stability. This system flourished under an influenced and uneducated nation, however, the rise of the middle and working classes put a change to that. Skilled merchants began to form guilds, universities and learning groups educated citizens, and a strengthening economy led the middle classes to object to feudal lord's taxes and form their own charters of towns. The educated middle class was now able to run their town fairly efficiently, which in turn, decreased influence of feudal lords and revived the power and influence of the monarchy.
The king could now depend on his educated townspeople to run their town. AS revolutionary as the transition was to the feudal system, the practice proved to be efficient in the modern world. The influence of universities and merchants, as seen, changed the kingdom. Medieval universities were first formed in the 12 th century AD after a need for educated public officials became evident.
Schools like the Law School at Bologna as well as medical schools gave towns lawyers, judges and capable local officials. Other schools like the University of Paris taught scholars literature and theology. The breed of Renaissance thinking was most likely developed in such places. Scholars like Peter Abelard and Thomas Aquinas led an interest in the study of classical Greek and Roman philosophy. This interest, along with challenged perspectives of the time eventually led to modern science. Guilds, as afore-mentioned, were monopolistic practices over certain trades set by merchants.
They virtually eliminated competition and ensured quality. Compared to Renaissance art, and Shakespearean and Elizabethan literature the precursor saw little. However, works like Chaucer's Canterbury Tales were popular, and the Gothic architectural style laid a foundation for many cathedrals and buildings. It is still a dominant facade in today's world and was relished in modern Western Europe.
A powerful education system and study of art are necessary for society's to flourish and carry it's roots into the next era; the effects of the middle ages therein are obvious. The middle ages staged to recall and then reform the religious concepts of the day. Since all aspects of society, including religious, are influenced by a changing society, the religion of the middle ages progressed accordingly. The feudal age of religion may have witnessed a hierarchy in it's system, but as the ages progressed, society, including kings and church scholars, argued for a reform in church government.
Likewise, as scholars found contradictions in religion, church practices were challenged and the very popes and bishops were unpopular. The ideas and preaching of those like John Wycliffe and Jan Hus faced the church with a possible full-scale rebellion. The church willingly compromised, however these were early warning signs of the reformations of the modern world. The church, try as it might, could not barge a developing society and mind. The developments of the political, cultural, and religious societies of the middle ages influenced each other and were in turn influenced by the people. The early middle ages and the whole age in general might be looked at as backward, however the changes it inspired need only be seen in the vibrant modern world that would follow.
Solely based on its inspiration and development, the Middle Ages are epically viewed as the bridge between classical and modern times.