2 The Middle AgesThe gradual decline of the Roman Empire ushered in a period called the Middle Ages or the Medieval Period in EuropeThe period was characterized by feudalism and lasted from 500 to 1500.
3 Feudalism is the exchange of land for services (farming and military service) Feudalism grew in the absence of a strong central government.
4 Germanic invasions into the Roman Empire disrupt trade and cities are abandoned. Population shifts to rural areas where feudalism or the manor system developed.
5 Education declined as people left the cities. With the population spread out and isolated different languages including French and Spanish developed from Latin.
6 Germanic people converted to Christianity in high numbers. With the population so spread out and borders constantly changing with warfare, the church became the sole unifying force in Europe.They collected taxes from nobles called feudal Lords and ensured that they were running their manors properly.
7 The Feudal Pyramid (social classes) fiefsFiefs = landgrantsKingsLords (Nobles & Bishops)Knights – protected land and people, fought along side lords (code of chivalry)Serfs (peasants) – farmed land for lords, could not be sold but also were not allowed to leaveVassal = personReceiving the fieffiefs
11 The Purpose of the Manor The feudal system provided self-sufficiency meaning everything the people needed was produced within the manor.The serfs provided a steady work force since they weren’t allowed to leave.
12 Life on the Manor The economy of the manor was based on agriculture. The more land a lord had the more power he held.
13 The three field system was used which included rotating the crops planted in each field from season to season while always leaving one field unplanted.
14 Click for Castle Siege Weapons KnightsKnights were expected to show loyalty to his feudal lord, to God, and to his chosen lady.They were also expected to protect the weak and the poor.Click for Castle Siege Weapons
15 Knights These ideals together were called the “code of chivalry”. Many mistreated peasants anyway.
16 The ChurchThe Church was the one thing that united everyone on the manor.Larger churches incorporated Gothic architecture.
17 Among other features they were very tall and used Stained glass windows to assist people in understanding Biblical stories.
18 People were expected to tithe (give ten percent of their income) to the church even after giving most of their income to the feudal lord.