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Introduction Feudalism. When we say the Middle Ages, what are we talking about? (Brainstorm words, things or specific time periods)

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction Feudalism. When we say the Middle Ages, what are we talking about? (Brainstorm words, things or specific time periods)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction Feudalism

2 When we say the Middle Ages, what are we talking about? (Brainstorm words, things or specific time periods)

3 Middle… Dark… or just Medieval? The Middle Ages is the period of European history that lasts from 500CE to around 1500CE Historians call the period before the Middle Ages ancient history. They call the period after the Middle Ages the beginnings of modern history. The Middle Ages has also been called the Dark Ages and Medieval times.

4 Life after Rome Before its collapse, Rome protected much of Western Europe. When Rome collapsed there was no one who had an army strong enough to defend its borders. Wave after wave of invaders took over European lands and cut off trade routes. They also brought in their own languages.

5 Vikings One of the most deadly and terrifying groups of invaders were the Vikings. Vikings came from northern Europe (today Denmark, Sweden and Norway. For 300 years they attacked coastal towns, stealing goods and murdering people. Europe needed to re-organize itself to provide maximum protection in a dangerous world.

6 Feudalism Over time, people in Europe developed a way to organize themselves that would provide protection. They created a hierarchy of power called feudalism. Power belonged to the people who controlled the land. They gave protection to those who worked the land in exchange for their labor.

7 Monarchs People believed that the land belonged to God but that God had chosen the monarch to take care of these lands. Divine Right = a king’s power comes from God The king claimed ownership of the land. The king could not govern all the land himself so he gave the land to nobles/lords (wealthy landowners) who promised to be loyal and serve him. When the king needed an army to help him protect the land, he called on the nobles to raise and equip the army. The king would use this army to protect the land.

8 Lords and Vassals The nobles and lords could in turn grant land— called a fief—to another man who promised to be loyal, follow his laws and fight for him. The man who promised loyalty was called a vassal. A vassal could be a lord but he had much less power than the greatest nobles of the land.

9 Lords and Nobles The lord’s responsibility was to protect his vassals and their land. If a vassal died, the lord became the protector of the vassal’s children. Sometimes a vassal was a knight who was experienced in fighting and owned his own equipment. Vassals had to serve in the army, they had to serve in the lord’s court and had to make special payments to the lord.

10 Manors A lord could rule over one or more manors. A manor was a large estate that included a village, farmland and peasants. The manor was important because it produced food and wealth for the entire kingdom.

11 Peasants and Serfs Peasants did all the work on a manor. They farmed the fields and harvested the grain. Many peasants were serfs. They were not allowed to leave the manor or marry without permission from the noble. Serfs were not slaves. He could save enough money to buy a plot of land and be a free peasant.

12 Manor: How land is used by everyone

13 Manor Chart 1) What do you notice about how the field is used? 2) Who do you think grows the food and grinds grain into flour in the mill? 3) If there are problems with the equipment at the mill or the blacksmith’s forge, who pays for the repairs? 4) Who controls how many animals and wood are taken from the forest? 5) Who controls how many fish are taken from the ponds? 6) Who do you think oversees justice in a manor? Why could this be problematic? 7) If a serf needs resources to repair his house or his farming tools, what do you think he could do?

14 Graph the Relationships of Feudalism

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