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Flanders had grown to be the industrial center of northern Europe and had become extremely wealthy through its cloth manufacture. It could not produce enough wool to satisfy its market and imported fine fleece from England. England depended upon this trade for its foreign exchange. During the 1200's, the upper-class English had adopted Norman fashions and switched from beer to wine.

(Note that beer and wine were very important elements in the medieval diet. Both contain vitamin and yeast complexes that the medieval diet, especially during the winter, did not provide. Besides, the preservation of food was a difficult matter in that era, and the alcohol in beer and wine represented a large number of calories stored in an inexpensive and effective fashion. People did get drunk during the middle ages, but most could not afford to do so. Beer and wine were valued as food sources and were priced accordingly)

The problem was that England could not grow grapes to produce the wine that many of the English now favored and had to import it. A triangular trade arose in which English fleece was exchanged for Flemish cloth, which was then taken to southern France and exchanged for wine, which was then shipped into England and Ireland, primarily through the ports of Dublin, Bristol, and London.

But the counts of Flanders had been vassals of the king of France, and the French tried to regain control of the region in order to control its wealth. The English could not permit this, since it would mean that the French monarch would control their main source of foreign exchange. A civil war soon broke out in Flanders, with the English supporting the manufacturing middle class and the French supporting the land-owning nobility.

The Struggle for Control of France
The English king controlled much of France, particularly in the fertile
South. These lands had come under control of the English when Eleanor of Aquitaine, heiress to the region, had married Henry II of England in the mid-12th century. There was constant bickering along the French-English frontier, and the French kings always had to fear an English invasion from the South. Between Flanders in the North and the English in the South, they were caught in a "nutcracker".

Source: graduate way
Rome vs Han
Although Rome and Han Dynasty, from 200 BCE-200CE, are similar politically with supernatural sanctions to support rule and economically with investing in public work; however, these two differ politically in citizenship rules and economically in trade.

Invoking supernatural sanctions to support their rule and absorbing a foreign religious tradition both show political similarities between Rome and Han. Romans regarded their deceased emperors as gods and established a religious cult to bolster the authority of living emperors. Also, in Rome, Christianity was born as a small section of a very small province in a remote corner of the empire. Here, women were more prominent in leadership of early church and they obtained state support from emperors who hoped to “shore up a tottering empire with a common religion”. Like the Romans, the Han also worshiped their deceased emperors and gave them the name of “Son of Heaven” who was governed by the “Mandate of Heaven”. The Han also studied Buddhism which originated in India and was introduced by Central Asian traders. The Rome and Han are similar politically in invoking supernatural sanctions because they both relate to the use of gods and the heavens above. Also, the Rome and Han civilizations brought in two different religions from a place outside of their land which shows how the two dynasties were similar politically in absorbing foreign religions.

Moving on, investing in public works and paying taxes both show economic similarities between Rome and Han. Both of these civilizations invested heavily in creations to make their area better for the public. These projects included roads, bridges, aqueducts, and canals which were designed to integrate respective domains militarily and commercially. Although this sounded like a good idea in the moment, the Rome and Han occupied a large area of land so taking care of everything was expensive; therefore, taxes were high and it led to the decline/end of the empires because there were no technological breakthroughs. The growth of large landowning families that were able to avoid paying taxes turned free peasants into impoverished tenant farmers; this diminished the authority of central government. The Rome dynasty ended in 476 CE and the Han ended in 200 CE. These two
dynasties are similar economically because they both invested a bunch of money in public works to make their areas more civilized, but both ended due to the high tax rates.

Although the Rome and Han shared both politically similar actions and religions, they differ in their citizenship rules. Rome granted citizenship to various individuals, families, and whole communities for service to the empire or in their recognition to adoption of all Roman culture. In 212 CE, citizenship was granted to all free people; the advantages of this were right to hold public office, serve in Roman military units (legions), and to wear togas. In contrast, the Han required each generation to have a son. Also, they were required to “donate” their time to public work projects one month out of a year. These two views contradict each other because in Rome basically everyone becomes a citizen within their lifetime and in Han, only few people are granted it.

Rome and Han also differ economically in terms of trade. In Rome, located in the far west region, slaves helped with every job while chained to one another. They specialized in glass blowing, grains, olive oil, and wine. The Han, located in the far east region, used women as slaves; they had no rights and did housework. Even though mining, wine-making, and salt distribution were under government control, the Han specialized in porcelain, iron, casting, and silk. Not only did the Rome and Han specialize in different items, they had different outlooks on who was to be the slaves producing the products.

https://graduateway.com/about-the-poem-going-going-philip-larkin-1972/

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