European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follow the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and are marked by depopulation, migration from urban centers, and increasing frequency of barbarian invasions. Key events include the Crusades, during which Europeans attempted to recapture the Holy Land, and the development of the serf system, which enabled systematic agriculture to begin again. Agriculture was widely affected due to climate change, resulting in frequent famines. In addition, the Black Death (which may have been the bubonic plague) spread rapidly across Europe, killing 30-60% of the population by the mid-14th century. With the resulting decrease in the labor force, due to death by disease or hunger, landlords were forced to offer higher wages to entice peasants to work in their fields. The end of the Middle Ages is generally considered to be 1453, the date of the Turks' conquest of Constantinople.