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What Changed in the Middle Ages?. I. Urban to Rural Urban cities decline due to over-taxation and invasion and people migrating to the country side. Still.

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Presentation on theme: "What Changed in the Middle Ages?. I. Urban to Rural Urban cities decline due to over-taxation and invasion and people migrating to the country side. Still."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Changed in the Middle Ages?

2 I. Urban to Rural Urban cities decline due to over-taxation and invasion and people migrating to the country side. Still they needed protection from invaders and thieves. The local lord would offer protection in return for their work in his fields as Serfs. Often a serf would be born, live and die on the manor.

3 II. From Freedom to Serfdom In exchange for protection, rights were given up. Often the serfs had no true rights and few privileges connected to the lord they served. A serf is not slave but is bound to the land in which they work.

4 III. Public Policy to Family Law (rule of law to family politics) Under the Romans, laws were public and created by representatives of the people. Laws, such as the Twelve Tables were posted in the forum for all to see and follow. In the early Middle Ages, judgments were made by the local lord who settled all disputes on his property or fief. Disputes between nobles were settled by judgment by their king/peers, trial by combat or trial by ordeal. Instead of laws, there were codes (chivalry and courtly love) that guided the behavior of the nobles.

5 IV. Multiple Religions/ Philosophies to one International Church Germanic religion focused on many gods and forms associated with naturalism. All Hallows Eve [Halloween] is based on an ancient pagan ritual. The Romans also had multiple gods and deities until Christianity became the official religion of the empire. At that point, Christianity and the kings that supported it began to conquer more and more territory and institute Christianity as the only religion of the land. The Catholic Church was the dominant control of European society.

6 V. Centralized Government to Decentralized Authority The Romans exercised control over the empire (from Spain to Persia) from a central authority revolving around the emperor. As the empire fell authority was decentralized to the local lords of the land who protected and maintained justice in their fiefdoms.

7 VI. Manufacturing/Trade to Self- Sufficient, Agricultural-Based Units The trading empire established by the Romans soon fell apart as the empire could no longer protect their trade routes and the urban workers disappeared into the rural area. Manorialism (economic system based on self sufficient, agricultural units) guides the economics of the day. Only the Jews (who were unable to own land and considered outcasts) continued to trade.

8 VII. Monetary System to Barter System Roman coinage disappears and is replaced with the trade of goods and services of equal value, which is known as bartering. Money (Medium of Exchange) ceases to be a part of the daily lives of the people. Only Byzantine coins were in circulation and most all forms of banking or money lending were a thing of the past. The Middle Ages saw the development of local markets and trade days.

9 VIII. Jury System to Trial by Combat/ Ordeal Crimes against the state are replaced by crimes against individuals. In the Roman World, if you committed a crime or transgression, it was considered that you did it to the whole community and the community acted to put you on trial and punish you accordingly. Crimes in the Middle Ages were personal and individualized.

10 IX. Cultural, Artistic and Philosophical Flourishing to Cultural Semi-Stagnation The Greco – Roman world ushered in a new ideal of art and architecture and wrote political philosophies, created dramas and comedies for the theater. The Middle Ages saw sporadic pieces of inspiration, such as the architecture of cathedrals and writers like Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales but for the most part, little was added to our cultural growth in the Middle Ages, especially the first years.

11 X. Pax Romana to Continual Warfare Starting well before the Fall of the Roman Empire, warfare becomes one of the driving forces of the Middle Ages. Invaders, such as the Vandals, Huns, Visigoths, and Ostrogoths, and later the Vikings and Muslims, kept western Europe in a near constant state of war. The political system of Feudalism was created to contract for warriors to serve a lord’s needs. Castles, or defensive fortifications, become symbols of military and political power.

12 Vocabulary Card Example

13 Vocabulary Lord – in feudal Europe, a person who controlled land and could therefore grant estates to vassals Vassal – in feudal Europe, a person who received a grant of land from a lord in exchanged for a pledge of loyalty and services Fief – an estate granted to a vassal by a lord under the feudal system in medieval Europe Manor – a lord’s estate in feudal Europe Chivalry – a code of behavior for knights in medieval Europe, stressing ideals such as courage, loyalty, and devotion


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