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Western Europe in the Middle Ages

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Presentation on theme: "Western Europe in the Middle Ages"— Presentation transcript:

1 Western Europe in the Middle Ages

2 European Middle Ages Early / Post-Classical
“the Dark Ages” disorder, disunity, despair High Middle Ages Rise of crown, commerce & cities Late Middle Ages 3 disasters: church scandal, years war & BLACK DEATH

3 Post-Classical/ Early Middle Ages
550 – 900 CE – fragmented & chaotic Catholic church only source of intellectual development & literacy Church power Manorialism Feudalism


5 The Franks tribes unified (by Clovis)
Converted to Christianity (by Clovis) Muslims/Moors halted at Tours (732; Charles Martel) Aided the Pope Charlemagne - strong but brief Empire Crowned Holy Roman Emperor Split / Viking invasions/ disunity

6 The Angles & Saxons Invaded Britain (which was defended by “King Arthur”?) Small kingdoms Adopted Christianity 7th century 9th century – Alfred the Great Danes / Vikings Became known as England (land of the Angles)

7 Transition Europeans were newer to “civilization” than the Middle East
Decline of Islamic and Mongol influence Important changes in West… Horse collar & stirrups – strengthened agric & military/ agricultural changes – 3 field system; warming period Decline of Viking invasions – more stability & pop growth

8 The Rise of a Medieval Urban Culture
High Middle Ages The Rise of a Medieval Urban Culture

9 Feudal Monarchies and Political Advances
primogeniture Holy Roman Emperor Capetian kings Norman conquest More stability


11 10th century – out of the ruins of the Frankish empire
W. - France: new hereditary monarchy established: Hugh Capet – Capetian dynasty E. - German States: Holy Roman Empire Develops as an “elected” emperor under the Pope Greater Stability…

12 Limited Government Church main authority
Aristocrats vs. monarchical power /Magna Carta 1st English parliament Three key estates Conflicts church & Kings Rivalries – temporal vs “spiritual” authority feudal rights vs national states/central authority




16 The West’s Expansionist Impulse
Reasons Pop growth Memory of Rome Religious zeal Reconquest of Spain Vikings Crusades cultural diffusion & trade

17 Western Civilization Christianity was unifying element
Little classical thought before 1000 Crusades  classical works Aristotle especially

18 Trends… food production population strong monarchies travel trade
warming in Europe food production population strong monarchies travel trade towns… urban culture


20 Rise of Trade, Towns, & Cities

21 Role of Italy Italian towns had not decayed to same degree as rest of W. Europe Italy’s location – trade cities Crusades resulted in trade of goods – luxury items from the east & middle east Connection between Mediterranean trade system & rest of Europe

22 Flanders Belgium and N. France Textile capital of Europe;
woolen industry Center of trade in European Northern Coast: across France, down Rhine River and across English Channel

23 Medieval City in Flanders

24 Hanseatic League Trading towns along Baltic Coast 70 member cities
Established permanent trading routes Traded in fur, timber, fish, grain Violators punished by boycott or war

25 Medieval Fairs Champagne (France) had the best known fairs
lasted 4-6 weeks and were held several times per year

26 Role of Medieval Fairs Goods from all over world were exchanged (at first by barter then by money) at fairs Trade items from East: spices, medicine, perfume, dyes, gems, silk, cotton, linen, gold, silver, ivory Trade items from Middle East: textiles, rugs, grains, fruit And exchange of ideas!

27 Development of Money Economy
led to decline of feudal system & emergence of market economy Capital: wealth earned, accumulated and invested Coinage – silver, then gold Banking - Italian “banca” = money changers table European traders less wealthy than Islamic counterparts

28 Growth of Cities and Towns
Resulted from: the revival of trade serfs leaving manor for opportunities strong monarchies Developed Where? Near well-traveled roads, transfer points or waterways

29 Conditions in Towns: Crowded (epidemics spread quickly)
filthy (sewage/stench of animals) violent, noisy (don’t go out after dark!) But provided opportunities...

30 Guilds: Business Organization of Merchants and Artisans
set quality standard loans to members ill / disabled members Protected businesses set prices /conditions prohibited competition supervised training…

31 Apprentice System of Craft Guild
Apprentice: worked for master without pay to learn skills Journeyman: worked for daily pay; submitted work to guild for approval to become master; could work in other towns Master: artisans who owned their own shops & tools & employed less-skilled workers as helpers

32 Charters: kings & nobles granted charters to townspeople - documents that gave them right to control their own affairs – not under local lord

33 Universities Develop Begin as learning guilds (an association of people organized for the purpose of learning and teaching) Limited to specific subjects (ex: theology, law, medicine) Academic degrees develop (B.A., M.A. PhD)

34 Scholasticism Intellectual movement that attempted to reconcile faith & reason Faith = Church teachings Reason = Aristotle’s logic Scholastic philosphers:

35 Thomas Aquinas 13th century Italian priest Wrote Summa Theologica
reason was God’s gift church doctrine could be supported through logic Proposed 5 logic proofs of the existence of God...

36 Proof #1: Argument of Motion
Everything is in motion and what is in motion must be moved by some mover. Thomas concluded that reason demands that there must have been a “first mover” or “unmoved mover” and this is God.

37 Vernacular Literature
Vernacular: language of everyday speech people spoke the language that had developed in their own countries from Latin or German roots (Eng, Fr, Ger, Ital, Span) each kingdom a distinct identity literature more accessible

38 Vernacular Writers Dante Alighieri: The Divine Comedy, epic poem in Italian that describes an imaginary journey through hell, purgatory and heaven

39 Geoffrey Chaucer: Canterbury Tales
English narrative poems that described a group of pilgrims who tell stories to amuse one another on their way to Thomas Beckett’s shrine

40 Gothic Architecture Characteristics: walls high & thin, flying buttresses supported weight of roof, large stained-glass windows, pointed arches Symbolism: ground plan in shape of a cross with high walls and pointed arches, everything appeared to be “reaching towards heaven”

41 Cruciform plan

42 Flying Buttresses Clerestory Windows

43 Chartres the nave

44 Illuminated Page

45 The Rise of a Middle Class leads to the decline of Medieval Feudalism
The kings will use the Middle Class to weaken the nobility / aristocracy revival of trade will lead to the more rapid exchange of everything – including the Black Death


47 Global Connections: Medieval Europe and the World
Europe seemed threatened by outsiders, yet adopted many of their ideas and trade


49 Decline of the Old Order
Byzantium and Abbasid fall (rise of Ottoman Turks and Mongols)

50 Rise of the West

51 Sources of Dynamism: Medieval Vitality

52 Imitation and International Problems

53 Secular Directions in the Italian Renaissance

54 Human Values and Renaissance Culture

55 Iberian Spirit of Religious Mission

56 Western Expansion: The Experimental Phase

57 Early Explorations

58 Colonial Patterns

59 Outside the World Network

60 Political Issues in the Americas

61 Expansion, Migration and Conquest in Polynesia

62 The Problem of Ethnocentrism

63 Isolated Achievements by the Maoris

64 Adding Up the Changes

65 Problems for Europe Black Death (1348) Avignon Papacy / Great Schism
Hundred Years War


67 Global Connections: 1450 and the World
Changes and continuities were present Muslims still active Mongols offer new contacts Decline Mongols returns attention to Indian Ocean trade Southeast Asia drawn into trade African merchants connected to Middle East


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