Medieval Period was based on feudalism Feudalism was a hierarchy based on the least powerful swearing allegiance and loyalty to the person in power above him. It began with the serfs and ended with the king and the Pope
Characteristics of the Middle Ages (cont) The Norman Conquest of England created a powerful Anglo-Norman entity and brought England into the mainstream of European civilization
Characteristics of the Middle Ages (cont) The feudal system centralized military, political, and economic power in the Crown
Characteristics of the Middle Ages (cont) The Roman Church transcended national boundaries and fostered cultural unity among Europeans
Characteristics of the Middle Ages (cont) The rise of cities and towns freed people to pursue their own commercial and artistic interests
Characteristics of the Middle Ages (cont) The Magna Carta weakened the political power of the Church and laid the ground work for later English constitutional law.
Characteristics of the Middle Ages (cont) Exposure to Eastern civilization as a result of the Crusades broadened Europeans’ intellectual horizons
Characteristics of the Middle Ages (cont) The ideals of chivalry improved attitudes toward but not the rights of women
Characteristics of the Middle Ages (cont) The rise of the yeoman class paved the way for democracy in England
Characteristics of the Middle Ages (cont) The bubonic plague created a labor shortage that contributed to the end of feudalism and to the passing of the Middle Ages
William the Conquerer William led the Normans against the Anglo Saxons at the Battle of Hastings. He won and brought a new language and methods of organization to England
Battle of Hastings (August 25, 1066) Called one of the most influential battles of all time, the Battle of Hastings brought the Normans to England to replace Harold I on the throne.
Domesday Book Often called Doomsday Book– William the Conqueror had everyone’s personal property catalogued so he could tax it.
Crusades For almost 200 years Western Europe under direction from the Popes attempted to “recapture” the Holy Lands, especially Jerusalem.
Catholic Church Most influential and powerful institution in Europe Dictated even the most insignificant details of individuals’ lives Participated in Inquisitions Controlled intellectual thought until the Renaissance Place of power and education
What did the Crusades do? Depopulated parts of Europe Introduced Europe to a more cultured, learned civilization Opened trading routes Introduced Europeans to spices and perfumes Eventually broke the power of the Catholic church (helped to) by ushering in the Renaissance
Bubonic Plague strikes England 1348 Called the Black Death– estimates say that 10 to 50% of Europeans died of the black death. So many people died that there was a shortage of labor which eventually helped to bring about the middle class.
Saladin Famous Muslim leader who opposed the Christians during the Crusades.
Thomas a Beckett Archbishop of Canterbury who was murdered by the knights of Henry II. Canterbury Cathedral honors this English martyr. He also was the martyr celebrated in the Canterbury Tales.
Henry II Son of Maude (Matilda) Henry II inherited the throne after Stephen. Although he is best known as the monarch who caused the death of Thomas a Beckett he ruled an extensive empire, restored order, triumphed over the nobility and fought the Church. He also restored royal justice, the beginning of the modern trial by jury. In short, he brought efficiency and a degree of fairness to government.
Henry’s fight with the Church Henry wanted to do away with the concept of “benefit of clergy” or immunity from the king’s justice. Any wrongdoer who could read Latin could claim to be a cleric. Also Henry wanted to nominate his own bishops.
Guilds First labor unions made up of skilled craftsmen. Guilds are the beginning of the middle class.
Chivalry Chivalry was a code of conduct based on the process of becoming a knight. Adherence to oaths of allegiance and rules governing fighting were basic precepts of the code.
William Wallace Legendary hero of Scotland (Braveheart), he fought against Edward I and the English take- over of Scotland. The Scottish lairds were jealous of his popularity and power and betrayed him to Edward. Although he was executed, his spirit influenced the Scots to continue fighting against England.
100 Years’ War (1377-1453) The Hundred Years War was a series of wars between England and France. The background of the Hundred Years War went as far back as to the reign of William the Conqueror. When William the Conqueror became king in 1066 after his victory at the Battle of Hastings, he united England with Normandy in France. William ruled both as his own.
100 Years’ War (con’t) Under Henry II, the lands owned by England in France became even larger and the kings who followed Henry found the land they owned in France too large and difficult to control. By 1327, when Edward III became king, England only controlled two areas of France - Gascony in the south and Ponthieu in the north.
100 Years’ War (con’t) In 1328, Charles IV of France died. Charles did not have any sons to take over his land and all his brothers were dead. He did have a sister called Isabella. She was the mother of Edward III and Edward believed that because of this, he should be king of France. However, the French decided that a cousin of Charles, Philip, should be crowned king.
100 Years’ War (con’t) Edward was furious but he was not in a position to do anything in the late 1320’s. By 1337 he was ready to fight for what he believed was his and he declared war on Philip. Edward was not only willing to fight for what he believed was his - the crown of France - but also he feared that Philip was a threat to his possessions in France - Gascony and Ponthieu.
Joan of Arc Most famous figure of the 100 Years’War, Joan of Arc was a peasant girl who led the French forces against the English– since the French king was too inept. She claimed that God talked to her, and she was militarily successful for two years until she was captured in Burgundy and sold to the English. The English considered her a “hot potato” so they gave her to an ecclesiastical court which accused her of witchcraft and eventually burned her at the stake. She became canonized as a saint in the 20 th century.
Song of Roland (written 1100) Roland was a French hero who drove the Moors out of France and back to Northern Africa. The Song of Roland is considered to be the French national epic.
Everyman A morality play to teach a lesson to its viewers. It’s about a character named Everyman who confronts Death and has to find which of his friends will go with him.
Dante Aligheri (writes Devine Comedy 1307) Author of the Devine Comedy which is comprised of The Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradisio.
Decameron Written by Boccaccio, the Decameron 1350’s is a set of tales principally about love and the corruption of the clergy. The Decameron is said to have been an influence on Chaucer.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1375) A tale about Arthur’s knights and the Round Table, Sir Gawain accepts the Green Knights challenge to exchange blows. The story might really be about redemption and sin.
Canterbury Tales (written 1387) Canterbury Tales was written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer who is often called the father of English poetry. He is credited with making English respectable. Until Chaucer most literature and documents of importance were done in Latin.
Ballads Orginally dervied from a French word which meant dancing song, ballads were composed with music in mind with their rhythm and meter. Ballads are poetry of the people and their topics are ones of everyday life– lost love, death, betrayal, the supernatural and relationships
English Monarchs William the Conquerer William II (Rufus) Henry I Stephen and Maude Henry II Richard I John Henry III Edward I Edward II Edward III Richard II Henry IV Henry V Henry VI Edward IV Edward V Richard III
Wreck of the White Ship and Civil War Henry I died without a son to succeed him. Before his death he had made all of his nobles swear allegiance to his daughter Maude. However, when he died his nephew Stephen grabbed the throne
England’s Civil War Maude, aka Matilde, battled over the throne for almost 19 years. Stephen claimed that a woman shouldn’t rule. The battle raged until Stephen’s only son died, leaving him with no heir. Through treaty Stephen agreed that Matilda’s son (Henry II) would inherit the throne after Stephen’s death
War of the Roses Lancaster Henry of Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt, seized the throne of England from his cousin Richard II. Richard futilely attempted to save his life by “abdicating.” Accounts vary, but apparently Richard starved to death in a dungeon. Henry then became Henry IV, but descendants from the Yorkist side of the family (who had a better claim to the title) objected– for the next three generations.
The Yorkists take over The Lancasters kept the throne through the reigns of Henry IV and Henry V, but during the reign of Henry VI the Yorks realized that they had an opportunity to depose a weak king. Yorkist Edward IV, along with help from his brother Richard, captured and killed Henry VI and took over the throne of England.
Edward IV dies Much to the disgust of everyone Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville, a member of a much disliked family. When Edward died his children Edward V and Richard were taken by their uncle Richard (soon to be Richard III) to the Tower of London– for safety sake.
Elizabeth of York negotiates with Henry Tudor The boys turned up missing, and Richard proclaimed himself king. Edward IV’s daughter Elizabeth negotiated with Henry Tudor ( a descendant of John of Gaunt) to oppose her uncle, defeat him in battle, and subsequently marry her and become king.
Battle of Bosworth Field—the end of the Medieval Period Henry Tudor and his allies challenge Richard III and his reluctant allies at Bosworth Field. Richard is killed at the Battle and the ruling house of Plantagenet changes to Tudor, the Medieval Period ends, and the Renaissance is ushered in.