The Slave Trade
Exploring the coast of West Africa is an expensive proposition for the Portuguese. As they reach Cape Blanc at the south-west-most of present day Morocco they see their first Negroes and take them as slaves. The slave trade has started up again. Slavery won't be eradicated from Europe until the passage of the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833. The man to bring it about will be William Wilberforce, an amazing man. He will die three days later. President Abraham Lincoln will sign the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22nd, 1862 but long after the start of the American Civil War. The last shot will be fired on June 22nd, 1865, and the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution will be ratified on December 6th of that same year, finally ending slavery in the United States.     
A Church Held Hostage
When your church becomes defiled by blood, the bishop is willing to reconsecrate your church... for a price. It's a big price. In 1436, after two men get into a fight in the Church of the Innocents in Paris, a few drops of blood are split which causes the Church to become defiled (that is, it becomes ritually incorrect for worship services). The Bishop can fix this ritually but he refuses to do so until he is paid. Bishops at this time are not selected for the piety but rather for their administrative abilities and connections. The old bishop has been replaced by an even MORE greedy man, Bishop Denis du Moulin. The Church of the Innocents can't collect enough money to pay him off so he forbids all burial services at the Church until they pay up. It is the blackest of blackmail. 
This Year in Wikipedia
Year 1441, Wikipedia.
- Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 206-207. (BOOK) Quote: "Port. navigators find the first Negroes near Cape Blanc, western Africa, and start slave trade again."
- Metaxas, Eric. Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery. New York: HarperCollins. 2007. (BOOK)
- Ras Nouadhibou (Cape Blanc) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Slavery Abolition Act 1833 - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- William Wilberforce - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Uncle Tom's Cabin - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom's Cabin. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin. 1878. (BOOK)
- Robinson Crusoe - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Defoe, Daniel. The adventures of Robinson Crusoe. London: Bickers and Bush. 1862. (BOOK) Quote: "He offered me also sixty pieces of eight more for my boy Xury, which I was loth to take; not that I was unwilling to let the captain have him, but I was very loth to sell the poor boy's liberty, who had assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own. However, when I let him know my reason, he owned it to be just, and offered me this medium, that he would give the boy an obligation to set him free in ten years, if he turned Christian: upon this, and Xury saying he was willing to go to him, I let the captain have him."
- Huizinga, Johan. The Waning of the Middle Ages. New York: St. Martin's Press. 1985. pp. 19-20. ISBN 0312855400. (BOOK) Quote: "This Denys de Moulins was reputed “a man who showed very little pity to people, if he did not receive money or some equivalent; and it was told for truth that he had more than fifty lawsuits before the Parlement, for nothing could be got out of him without going to law.”"