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When were the Middle Ages?

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The Middle Ages began with the fall of Rome in 476 A.D. and ended with the beginning of the Renaissance during the 14th century. This period was filled with enormous social and political change.

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The Middle Ages are further divided into Early, High and Late periods. During the Middle Ages, Europe created dozens of small nations from the shattered remains of the Roman Empire. Small towns developed into thriving trade centers, and the Catholic Church tied the culture together. During the Late Middle Ages, the Medieval Warming Period contributed to a time of peace and prosperity, fueling the Renaissance.

Some historians mark the end of the Middle Ages as the invention of the Gutenberg printing press between 1436 and 1439. This made broadsides and books widely available even to commoners.

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