14th Century

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The 14th century began on January 1, 1301 and ended on December 31, 1400 . The world population at the beginning of the 14th century is estimated at 360 to 432 million people, while the estimates for the end of the century are between 350 and 374 million people. In this century, natural disasters, epidemics, wars and political upheavals shaped many parts of the world. In addition to the consequences of a drastic deterioration in the climate, large waves of plague cost numerous lives. Starting from Central Asia, the disease spread along the transcontinental trade routes established in the previous century. The Mongolian empires, which spanned much of Asia in the previous century, largely collapsed.

However, this century was not only fraught with crises. Numerous regions experienced at least temporarily an economic boom, cultural development and technical progress. In China, the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty was replaced by the Chinese Ming Dynasty . The Southeast Asian empires were followed by numerous regional empires. To the west of these, the Delhi Sultanate extended its rule over large parts of the Indian subcontinent. In Anatolia and southeastern Europe, the Ottoman Empire began its rise to become a major regional power, while France lost its supremacy in Europe in the Hundred Years War .


Europe in 1328

In the European context, the 14th century is assigned to the late Middle Ages . Europe was divided into numerous Christian domains of different sizes and structures. The larger territories were centralized kingdoms, none of which had dominant positions during the century. The Holy Roman Empire in the center of Europe was de facto an association of numerous principalities and cities that enjoyed a high degree of autonomy. With the Polish-Lithuanian Union , a powerful regional power emerged in East Central Europe at the end of the century. A few economically strong cities ruled northern Italy.

Crises in Europe

Most regions of Europe were hit hard by crises in this century, with the severity and duration of the crisis period being very different from region to region. These crises resulted in the population of Europe falling by a third. The population decline resulted in far-reaching upheavals in the social and economic order of Europe as well as the culture and worldview of Europeans.

At the beginning of the century, the climate cooled drastically. The changes that led to the “ Little Ice Age ” began as early as the 14th century . It was a climate change to a cold, changeable climate with corresponding negative effects on the mostly agrarian people. In the period between 1313 and 1319 extreme events occurred with floods. In 1342 there was an enormous flood catastrophe in Central Europe, combined with a considerable remodeling of the cultural landscape due to the resulting soil erosion. Extreme weather events, such as the Magdalen flood , resulted in abrupt, heavy soil erosion in some Central European regions. Cold and numerous storms led to an agricultural crisis.

Burial of bubonic plague victims in Tournai. Part of a miniature from the chronicles of Abbot Gilles Li Muisis (1272–1352)

Agriculture could no longer feed the population, which had risen sharply in the previous centuries. Rising agricultural prices and famine were the result. In the wake of this development, plague epidemics occurred (between 1347 and 1352) in a population that was weakened by the lack of supply in the climate crisis and thus predisposed to epidemics. From the middle of the century many Europeans fell victim to several waves of plague that killed a third of Europe's population. The people who were helpless in the face of the epidemic reacted with extreme actions. The flagellation movement and waves of pogroms against the Jews passed through Europe; In the cities, public order collapsed and moral standards eroded. Some regions were also badly affected by wars, such as France by the Hundred Years War . Other regions experienced the aftermath of financial crises, such as the banking crisis in northern Italy.

The population decline caused by crop failures and the plague caused economic and social upheaval. The labor shortage in agriculture and handicrafts associated with the population decline led to an increase in labor costs, migration movements and rural exodus. As a result, agricultural revenues fell in many regions while general prices rose at the same time. The princes and knights tried to compensate for the loss of income associated with this late medieval agricultural crisis through raids or, where possible, through heavy economic burdens on those dependent on them. The increasing burdens sparked three major peasant revolts in England, France and Flanders. Another consequence of population decline and rural exodus was the abandonment of numerous villages. Nature took back the abandoned desert , so that some settlements that were mentioned in early and high medieval documents can no longer be precisely located today. Together with the victims of famine, the population is reduced by more than 40 percent. Central Europe is experiencing a relapse in civilization with superstition and the persecution of witches .

The crisis in the church, which was greatly facilitated by the behavior of the Avignon papacy , also contributed to the insecurity of the very religious population . At the beginning of the century, the French king gained strong influence over the papacy, so that the popes he patronized moved their seat from Rome to Avignon, which was under French influence. The popes residing there acted in accordance with French interests. So they tolerated the heretic trial against the Knights Templar , which was subordinate to the Pope. In the administration of the Popes, secular court rulings and nepotism took on an unprecedented level. The popes obtained the large funds required for this through the sale of church offices, dispensations , permits and reliquary recognitions . The economization of church trade continued down to the lowest levels. Many church dignitaries no longer performed their office properly.

After the popes returned to Rome in 1378, two competing popes were elected. This Great Western Schism , which lasted 39 years, divided many ecclesiastical institutions, such as the great monastic orders , into two camps and deeply damaged the papal authority and the credibility of the church.

Central Europe

Most of Central Europe was part of the Holy Roman Empire. Its areas north and south of the Alps developed relatively independently of one another in this century. The Roman-German king stood at the head of the region north of the Alps. With the Golden Bull , the custom that he was elected by a majority vote of seven electors was first recorded in a legal document. However, the influence of the elected kings was essentially limited to the areas of their home power and regions close to the king. In many other regions, particularly in the electorates, they had little or no influence. The kingship was hardly raised from the level of the nobility.

The families of the Luxemburg , Habsburg and Wittelsbach families competed for the royal crown, all of whom had considerable power in the east of the empire. They used the royal office, in which they invested high bribes, to increase their household power. In the first half of the century, Ludwig the Bavarian from Wittelsbach ruled as the Roman-German king. Ludwig was the last German king who got into a violent power struggle with the papacy. In the second half of the century, his rival, Charles IV of Luxembourg, was elected king. His domestic power policy earned him possessions in the Upper Palatinate, Lusatia, Silesia and, with the Mark Brandenburg, a second electoral vote. The expansion of his residence city of Prague was important to him. The Habsburgs were able to expand their position of power in Tyrol, but lost to the Swiss Confederation . This was able to establish itself as well as to enlarge through military victories against the Habsburgs.

In addition to the princes, the imperial cities, which were formally subordinate to the king only, were quasi-autonomous units in the empire. As a counterweight to king and princes, political city federations emerged that served to preserve the peace, assert urban autonomy or enforce and maintain urban regulations. However, military defeats against groups of princes at the end of the century led to their dissolution. The primarily economically oriented Hanseatic League was able to defend its strong position in North and Baltic Sea trade through a military victory against Denmark in the Second Waldemark War. He was at the height of his power. The Hanseatic League was also instrumental in the formation of the Kalmar Union , which united the three Scandinavian kingdoms under one crown.

Western and Southern Europe

Chroniques by Jean Froissart - contemporary miniature of the Battle of Auray 1364

At the beginning of the century, France was the leading power in Europe. The hereditary monarchy, which ruled from Paris, was able to further expand its position. While significant parts of the empire were crown domains, other areas were hereditary fiefs of the aristocratic ruling class. Since the income from his crown domain was not enough, the king obtained the money he needed for the state and the military through violent measures against rich Jews and the wealthy Knights Templar , which he dissolved in the course of a heretic trial he staged.

In 1337 the main royal line of the Capetians died out and one of their subsidiary lines, the Valois , took over the royal throne. The English king took this change as an opportunity to assert his own claims to the throne. With his attempt to enforce these claims militarily, he triggered the Hundred Years War . The reasons for the dispute also lay in the English continental claims that had not been given up and in the competition between the two kingdoms for influence in Flanders. With numerous military victories, such as the battle of Crécy , the English were able to secure large areas in south-west and north of France in the Peace of Brétigny in 1360. If the French population had already suffered from the many battles and looting during the war, after the peace treaty they were confronted with the raids of dismissed mercenaries. In the last quarter of the century, the French took advantage of England's internal political crises and recaptured large parts of the territories that were given to the English in the peace treaty. At the end of the century, the Duchy of Burgundy was given to a sideline of the Valois as a French fief. In France, unlike in England , efforts to involve the citizens and the nobility in politics in the form of the Estates-General were unsustainable.

After the English expansion to Scotland failed with the defeat in the decades-long Scottish War of Independence , the English began their expansion to France with the Hundred Years War. New taxes and restrictions to bear the economic pressures of the war sparked a major peasant revolt . The uprising that spread to the cities was eventually put down. The English parliament gained structure and importance as a representative of both the aristocracy and the municipalities. King Richard II in particular led violent disputes with parliament and the aristocratic opposition. In 1399 he was the first English king to be deposed by these opponents. These disputes did not stand in the way of a more and more centrally organized administration and an increasing sense of unity among the English. As in previous centuries, the English aristocracy, unlike the people, spoke predominantly French, but at the end of the century, English became increasingly popular in this class too.

The Christian empires of Castile , Aragon and Portugal dominated the Iberian Peninsula. In Castile, the monarchs were able to build a centralized kingdom against the resistance of the regional nobility. The creation of a supreme court that was independent of the king, the reservation of crown land for the maintenance of a standing army, and church reforms changed the empire according to the needs of the king. The wars against Portugal resulted in the confirmation of the status quo. Aragon, located in the northeast, which also ruled Sicily, fought wars with the Italian city of Genoa for supremacy in the western Mediterranean.

Genoa was one of the powerful cities that ruled northern Italy. Just like Venice , the city-republic based its power and wealth on maritime trade. Milan used its economic strength in this century to significantly increase its rule over other cities and adjacent territories. Here, at the same time, the political change took place from a collectively ruled city to rule by a Siginori, who seized control of the city by consent or by force. In the following century, this model established itself in other Italian cities.

Eastern and Southeastern Europe

Polish Lithuanian Union

Władysław I. Ellenlang was able to unite the Polish principalities under his rule at the beginning of the century. Although he fended off the Bohemian claims to the throne, but had to cede Silesia to Bohemia. The king created a uniform law and a uniform nobility developed. The renewal of the general privilege for Jews favored the migration of numerous Jews who fled the pogroms in the rest of Europe to Poland. In 1384, the Lithuanian and Polish rulers married, uniting their empires. The Lithuanians who previously adhered to their ethnic religion converted to Catholic Christianity. Previously, the Lithuanian princes had conquered large Russian territories from Vilnius to Kiev. In this multi-ethnic Polish-Lithuanian Empire , a contrast arose between the privileged Roman Catholic nobles and the Russian Orthodox nobles. The conversion of the Lithuanians to Christianity created an ideological problem for the Teutonic Order , which had its heartland on the Baltic coast. He drew his justification from the struggle against the so-called Lithuanian pagans. He was supported by the annual cruises of numerous European knights, the influx of which decreased sharply towards the end of the century.

The Russian areas of Eastern Europe were under the rule of the Mongolian Golden Horde . During the century, the Grand Dukes of Moscow won the favor of both the Mongol Khan and the Russian Orthodox Church. Despite their increase in power and territory, the Principality of Tver and the Novgorod Republic , which profited from trade with the Hansa, were powerful opponents.

In the 14th century, southeast Europe was characterized by the competition between small local powers for rule. The only constant regional power was Hungary. The empire, initially ruled by the southern Italian kings and then by the Luxembourg dynasty , was culturally oriented towards Latin Europe. From the second half of the century, the armed conflicts with the Ottomans increased, in which the Hungarians finally got on the defensive. These conflicts determined the Hungarian history of the following centuries.

Further south, Stefan Uroš IV. Dušan built a large Serbian empire between 1331 and 1355, taking advantage of internal Byzantine disputes. With his self-image, which was strongly influenced by Byzantine models, he replaced the second Bulgarian Empire as the supreme power. Byzantium had sunk to a middle power after the cuts of the 13th century and could not even rule the Aegean, where the Italian maritime republics of Genoa and Venice fought for power. In addition, frequent domestic political conflicts restricted the former regional power's ability to act. Nevertheless, it served as a cultural model for the powers of the southern Balkans.

After gaining dominance over parts of Anatolia, the Turkish Muslim Ottomans conquered the first European city in 1354. They advanced quickly in the Balkans, bypassing Byzantine Constantinople. They defeated the nobility of the previously disintegrated Serbian empire in 1389 on the Amselfeld . In the 1390s they advanced to the Hungarian border. The victory of the year 1396 over a crusader army of European powers stabilized the presence of the Ottomans in Europe. The Ottoman army was predominantly an equestrian army. Despite the Turkish leadership, the majority of the Ottoman soldiers belonged to the local population. In the Ottoman Empire, Christians, with the exception of the Janissaries, were neither forced to convert, nor did their belief make it impossible for them to advance in the Empire. The Ottomans were open to their knowledge and skills. A conversion to Islam took place in the Balkans only selectively and on a small scale. Many Orthodox Christians preferred to live their faith under Muslim rule than to be forced to convert by Roman Catholic Christians. The empire was centered on the Sultan at its head. All subjects were directly subordinate to him, even if many members of the military received the tax revenue of an area to finance them.


Despite the numerous crises, aristocratic rule in Europe remained unbroken. Many nobles ruled a territory as direct or indirect vassals . What rights they had there and how loyal they were to their Lord and the King differed greatly in Europe. In addition to the administration of their territory, the secular nobles saw their task in waging war as knights . In the military system, the beginnings of developments that reached into the early modern era were evident. While many knights went to war as vassals of their liege lords, the proportion of mercenaries in the armies steadily increased. The infantry and long-range weapons also became more important, as demonstrated by the successful use of the English longbow archers. In contrast, the cannons used in this century mainly had a psychological effect.

Even if the wave of city founding subsided in the past centuries, the cities in Europe played an important role as places for handicrafts and trade. The degree of urban self-government varied from region to region and, in the case of the imperial cities, could go as far as almost complete autonomy. Within the city, only the taxpaying citizens had full citizenship. Women were also able to do business independently under certain conditions. However, like many other residents, they did not have a political say. Power was held by a small layer of long-distance traders and, in some cities, by the rich guilds . Although the cities were relatively independent, they remained structurally integrated into the feudal environment.

economic and legal

The upheavals in Europe and the world also had an impact on Europe's economy. In the previous century, the banking industry had expanded and sovereign debt increased. The poor luck of war on the part of these debtors and their creditors' loss of confidence led to the collapse of several major banks in the first half of the century and shook the predominantly Italian banking system. It was not until the end of the century that new, larger banks could emerge. The Hundred Years War and the opening of the Brenner Pass for the transport of goods led to the relocation of the inner-European north-south trade routes to southern Germany.

Religion and church

The Christian religion played a central role in society and in the lives of individuals. Although it lost much of the people's trust through its grievances, the church retained its place as the central mediator of the faith. Many church critics with a university education criticized the pope's claim to secular rule and advocated a regionally oriented church. Their criticism also included the pursuit of wealth by church officials. Here they were supported by some secular rulers for political reasons. The dispute over the wealth of the church escalated in this century also within the mendicant orders . The representatives of the orders, who received donations of wealth from wealthy nobles and citizens and used them for the order, were particularly criticized by many Franciscans . The persecution of these critics, also known as spirituals , by the Pope only partially prevented the orders.

The majority of the faithful turned to a mixture of mysticism and popular piety, which took on manifold and sometimes new forms. In many places there was an increased cult of relics and an increase in pilgrimages . Other groups sought an increased calm, peaceful inwardness. Through the exaggeration of religious commandments and the abuse of church institutions, such as the emerging indulgence trade, numerous people distanced themselves from the core of Christian teaching.

Art, culture and science

Education became important to more and more people. Since the middle of the century, the European university landscape has been expanded by numerous new foundations east of the Rhine. The cities finally replaced the monasteries as educational centers. The urban bourgeoisie became increasingly important as a level of education, while the importance of the clergy was relativized.

The increasing self-confidence of cities was evident in the architecture. Its citizens built magnificent town halls and town churches. In addition to their practical purpose, towers, gates and town houses were decorated. With Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales , a first masterpiece was written in written Middle English.



Sultanate of the Mamluks at the beginning of the 14th century

The Mediterranean coast of Africa was shared by three Maghrebian empires in the west and Egypt in the east, all of which were shaped by Islam. Egypt, along with Syria and Palestine, was ruled by the Mamluk warrior caste , who occupied all important state and military offices. They also determined the sultan, who was at the head of the state. While the sultans often came from the same family as their predecessors, the remaining Mamluks were former military slaves of Turkish and Caucasian origin. Their descendants no longer belonged to the group of their fathers, so that historians speak of a one-generation aristocracy. The Mamluks clearly distinguished themselves from the rest of the population. The rank within this leadership group was determined by ties to the sultan, who ruled autocratically either himself or through a vizier . So that the Mamluk emirs, general leaders of the army, could provide for themselves and their army, the sultan granted them the right to raise taxes in certain areas. Until 1382 the sultans were mostly of Turkish origin , then followed by Circassian sultans. The ethnic composition of the warrior caste changed accordingly and at the same time it became more isolated. During this century, the Mamluks successfully repelled attacks from the Ilkanat and Cyprus, but were unable to prevent the sacking of Syria by Timur's armies in 1400.

The highly diversified economy flourished in the first half of the 14th century. In particular, sugar, cotton and other agricultural goods could be exported to Europe via Venice. Egypt also benefited from Trans-Asian trade along the Silk Road , which was still functioning well at the beginning of the century. With the plague wave, which in Egypt, like in Europe, killed a third of the population, the country on the Nile suffered an economic collapse that had a negative effect on the second half of the century. Positive effects, such as the shift in land trade routes from mainland Asia to sea routes across the Red Sea, were unable to adequately compensate for the losses. In contrast, economic cooperation with Venice continued .

The Maghreb

In the three Maghrebian empires of northwest Africa, the three ruling dynasties, Merinids , Abd al-Wadid and Hafsiden , could only temporarily provide sultans who had full control over their territory. In the first half of the century the Merinids rose to regional power. They tried both to unite the entire Maghreb and to conquer the formerly Muslim Andalusia . However, both concerns finally failed in the middle of the century. The reasons for this were the defeat in the Battle of the Salado , power struggles and the outbreak of the plague. The influx of Muslim refugees from the Iberian Peninsula changed the culture of this sparsely populated region, but could not fully compensate for the population losses caused by the plague. Furthermore, the Berber culture and language in Morocco lost its dominance in favor of Arabic. By the middle of the century, the plague had a very negative impact on the economy.

Representation of Mansa Musa on a map of the Catalan World Atlas from 1375

The Mali Empire

South of the Maghreb, the Mali Empire stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Niger Basin. At the head of the empire stood a king who absolutely ruled over a court. The empire was federally organized and divided into provinces and tribute kingdoms. The king's appointment of provincial governors did not stop them from incorporating local rulers into the structure and respecting local customs. The most important industries in the empire were agriculture and livestock, which benefited from a relatively mild climate in the region. In addition to these, the mining and trading of raw materials played a major role. Gold and copper from the mines of the empire as well as salt were important export goods. The most important ruler of the empire was King Mansa Musa I, who led the empire to economic prosperity and great political importance in the first half of the century. On his pilgrimage to Mecca, on which he generously distributed gifts and displayed his splendor, he gave the impression to numerous people bordering the Mediterranean that the Mali empire was an El Dorado . In his day, Islam was rooted as the leading religion in much of his empire. In the second half of the century the empire suffered from great political instability, which a powerful general was able to remedy at the end of the century.


West and Central Asia

West and Central Asia were shaped by the Mongol empires at the beginning of the century. The Ilchanate , which ruled large areas of southwest Asia, collapsed in the 1330s due to internal tensions. From the succession struggles of various regional rulers, Timur , a Turkish-born military leader based in Samarkand , emerged as heir to the Ilkanat. The despotic ruler brought an area from the Euphrates to the Altai Mountains under his control. His rule was extremely brutal, so he had the skulls of the killed population of conquered cities piled up in pyramids. Beyond his rule, he carried out raids into Russian areas and as far as Delhi. On the other hand, he had magnificent buildings erected in his hometown of Samarkand, for which he had craftsmen from all conquered areas spend there.

The Indian subcontinent

Delhi Sultanate

In the previous century, the Delhi Sultanate had gained control of large parts of northern India. In the first decade of this century, Sultan Ala ud-Din Khalji expanded the area of ​​the Sultanate first in northern India, then also to central and parts of southern India through successful campaigns. Although his successors initially continued this policy of expansion, they were unable to prevent the subsequent collapse of the Indian empire in the first half of the century. Before that they tried to stabilize the empire. To do this, they set up a central administration and regulated the economy by weakening the Hindu middlemen. They also switched the financing of the army from military loans to tax-based financing. Nevertheless, they failed to get a grip on both regional separatist movements and the Reich's financial distress. Sultan Firoz Shah was able to consolidate the remaining north Indian empire in his 37-year rule in the second half of the century. In the last decade, succession struggles led to the collapse of the north Indian sultanate. A low point was the conquest of Delhi by Timur's army, which was accompanied by exceptionally gruesome acts of violence and mass murder of the civilian population.

In the 1330s, the South Indian Sangama dynasty established a Hindu empire, which they expanded into a regional empire in the following decades. The dynasty promoted Hinduism, which had come under pressure across India from the expansion of the Muslim empires. To this end, they helped the Brahmin laws in the south to apply again and sponsored several monasteries.


At the beginning of the century, large areas of East Asia were part of the Yuan Khanate , into which China was absorbed in the 13th century. The emperors at the head of the empire came from the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty, which saw itself as the Chinese imperial dynasty. The Mongols formed the small ruling elite over a class society. They were followed in a graduated system of rights by other Central Asians, the population of the former Jin Empire, and finally the South Chinese as the lowest ranked population. The Yuan emperors of this century could only partially prevail over the various factions of the Beijing court. Emperors who favored the Mongolian style of rule of the looser steppe rule alternated with emperors who preferred the Chinese tradition with its administrative style of rule. At the beginning of the century, an emperor reintroduced the Chinese civil service exams. The orientation of the civil servant examination on the neo-Confucianism of Zhu Xi was also maintained in the following centuries. Although the civil service examination favored the rise of ethnic Chinese in state administration, the holders of all important offices were ethnic Mongols or Central Asians. The Mongolian hierarchy of decision-makers often instructed a parallel Chinese administrative structure to implement their ideas. Similar to the administration, Mongolian and Chinese units coexisted in the army.

X'ian Bell Tower

Towards the middle of the century, the Mongolian-dominated state increasingly lost its authority. Groups of rebellious peasants revolted against the authorities, gangs of criminals roamed the country murdering and plundering, and army and sect leaders founded small, autonomous empires within China. The main cause of the disintegration were the adverse climatic conditions, natural disasters and epidemics that have plagued China since the beginning of the century. They intensified the social differences in the country. Furthermore, high war costs and large construction projects as well as low income increased the state's financial need. In addition, the thin Mongolian elite, which became increasingly entangled in factional battles, was an increasingly weaker support for the emperors.

Of the civil war parties , Zhu Yuanzhang , the leader of the Red Turbans , finally prevailed. In 1368 he succeeded in conquering the capital Beijing and driving the Mongols out of China. In his new capital, Nanjing, he founded a new emperor dynasty, the Ming dynasty . During his tenure he subjugated the remaining separatist empires, drove the Mongols into the interior of Asia and in 1371 destroyed their old capital Karakorum . In contrast to the Yuan dynasty, the Ming emperor with the temple name Hongwu concentrated his rule on the classic Chinese areas, which at four million km² were much smaller than the Mongolian rule. When the first Ming emperor died, a succession dispute broke out, which Emperor Yongle won in the following century.

Emperor Hongwu expanded his absolutist rule and fundamentally changed China's political and social structures. Its model was the Confucian state. To secure rule, he had tens of thousands of old officials killed, their relatives and followers. He restructured the top political positions so that no official could endanger his authority. By dividing their land among the small farmers, he disempowered the large landowners who previously exercised local political power. He placed maritime trade under state control and thereby robbed the powerful merchant families of their influence. Finally, he also disempowered the military elite.

The examination system for civil servants has been greatly expanded. The content of the exam was the neo-Confucian teachings of Zhu Xi. The first Ming emperor promoted the Confucius cult across the country. The Ming also tried to standardize the diverse spiritual life of the Yuan period. Social mobility was restricted and a system of control over administration and population was established. However, the first emperor could not prevent the eunuchs at court from expanding their position of power at the end of the century.

Agriculture was strengthened while trade was restricted. Furthermore, the smallholders did not have to pay taxes, but goods and services to the state. The remaining money economy was largely converted to paper money.

East and Southeast Asia

The rule on the Japanese islands was shared by several noble families, with the Hōjō family having a predominant position at the beginning of the century. The only formally standing over her emperor brought several noble families in eastern Japan on his side in the 1320s and 30s and ended the power of the Hōjō with his victory in the Battle of Kamakura. The Ashikaga family took advantage of this loss of power and established a counter-emperor. In the following decades the domains of the two emperors divided Japan into a north and a south part. During the century, Japanese pirates had made trade unsafe in the East China Sea. The suppression of the pirates rewarded China with increased trade contacts, from which the Ashikaga in particular benefited.

After the Mongolian expansion in the previous century, the situation in Southeast Asia rearranged itself. The Khmer Empire of Angkor , which was an important regional power in the previous centuries, fell as a result of environmental changes and structural problems in this century. The Burmese Empire of Pangan also fell. Several smaller empires, including several Tai empires, fought for their place in mainland Southeast Asia . In the second half of the century, the Ayutthaya Kingdom , a Tai empire, rose to become a regional power. Ayutthaya benefited from both maritime trade and access to vital resources inland.


The expansion of the Inca Empire and the Chimú Empire

The Chimú culture established itself in the period from 1250 to 1470 in northern Peru in the area around the city of Trujillo . At the time of greatest expansion, their influence reached in the north to the border of Ecuador and in the south to Lima . Its capital, Chan Chan, was the largest city on the South American continent .




Africa and Asia

  • King Mansa Musa led the kingdom of Mali to prosperity.
  • Sultan Ala ud-Din Khalji extended the power of the Delhi Sultanate to large parts of the Indian subcontinent.
  • Emperor Hongwu founded the Chinese Ming Dynasty.
  • Emperor Go-Daigo initiated the end of rule of the Japanese Hōjō family .


Web links

Commons : 14th century  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. United States Census Bureau : Estimates of the Historical World Population (English).
  2. Hans R Bork, Helga Bork, Claus Dalchow, Hans P. Piorr, Thomas Schatz, Berno Faust: Landscape development in Central Europe: Effects of humans on landscapes. Klett, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 978-3-623-00849-3
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  5. a b c d e Ingrid Heidrich: '' Introduction to the History of the Middle Ages - 14th Century '' ( Memento from June 17, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (revised electronic version of Introduction to the History of the European Middle Ages , HCI, Bad Münstereifel 2003, ISBN 3-00-010998-6 )
  6. a b Jürgen Heyde: History of Poland . 3. Edition. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-50885-1 , p. 18-24 .
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  8. ^ A b Johanna Pink: History of Egypt - From late antiquity to the present . Verlag CHBeck, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-66713-8 , pp. 93-112 .
  9. Monika Gronke : History of Iran . CH Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-48021-8 , pp. 60-64 .
  10. a b Gudrun Krämer : History of Islam . Verlag CHBeck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-53516-X , p. 245-250 .
  11. a b c Hermann Kulke , Dietmar Rothermund : History of India - From the Indus culture to today . 2nd Edition. Special edition. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-60414-0 , p. 207-250 .
  12. a b c d Kai Vogelsang : History of China . 3. Edition. Reclam-Verlag, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-15-010933-5 , p. 355-384 .
  13. ^ Tilman Frasch: particularism and cultural transfer on the range of the world - Southeast Asia . In: Thomas Ertl , Michael Limberger (eds.): Die Welt 1250–1500 . Mandelbaum Verlag, Vienna 2009, ISBN 978-3-85476-293-5 , p. 325-350 .
  14. Peter Flindell clear: Peru: Society and Nationhood in the Andes . Oxford University Press, New York 2000, ISBN 0-19-506928-5 , pp. 11 .