Presentation on theme: "Early Middle Ages and Feudalism World History = Libertyville HS."— Presentation transcript:
Early Middle Ages and Feudalism World History = Libertyville HS
Early Medieval Period Characteristics Agriculture – subsistence farming Economic – Local economies continued (barter, local production) – Little international trade until about 1000 – Mediterranean cities had contact with Byzantines, Muslims – Vikings traded raw materials for Muslim gold
Early Medieval Period Characteristics Political = fragmentation Importance of land as political power – Ownership gave that person power to assess taxes on occupants – System of Feudalism developed as a result
Feudalism System of power based on exchange of land for service – King promises land – Lords promises services King owned all land King gave land to vassals – Vassal = follower of king (counts, barons, etc) In return for land, lords gave military service to their king Lords gave land to THEIR vassals (knights), who promised them service in return Serfs worked land, paid taxes
Feudalism Nobility controlled all land by building castles – Allowed nobleman to control land, collect taxes, retreat to safety – Power of central states - especially tax collection – became power of castle owner – Ex – Charlemagne died & nobility kept power of taxation for themselves – But by 1000, those same counts, barons had given away that power to THEIR vassals
Problems with Feudalism Once land is transferred it is almost impossible to get back Tended to decentralize a state because land was divided equally among surviving sons – Power of state devolved to local warlords – By 1000, though, further subdivision was impractical – reform needed!
Feudalism Reforms Introduction of Primogeniture – Eldest son inherited all land from father – Younger brothers got nothing (became fortune hunters) – Led to re-centralization and large group of unemployed warriors in Europe
Hierarchy of Feudal System
Chivalry Idealization of knights Gave real knights a guide to their actions Three parts – Chivalry to God Honor God (protect innocent, church officials) – Chivalry to Christians Honor fellow christians (mercy, courage, – Chivalry to women – Unifying theme = HONOR!