So was all this devastation just a mere coincidence? Maybe, but throughout history great achievements have always followed a time of strife, destruction, and mass loss of life. One just has to look at the positive affect the destruction of Israel's Northern Kingdom, and the eventual dispersion, had on the fullness of time as the best example. The plagues that struck Europe throughout the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries left men with a sense of their own mortality, and a feeling of destiny. This feeling gave them the will to stand up to the feudal lords when they were forced into working harder with no benefit or reward. Just as there were guild revolts in the cities in the late 1300s, so we find rebellions in the countryside. The Jacquerie in 1358, the Peasants' Revolt in England in 1381, the Catalonian Rebellion in 1395, and many revolts in Germany, all added to the feudal lords loosing there grip on the peasant class.
"How the Renaissance Led
to the Reformation"