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Life in the Middle Ages - Explain the role of serfs in feudalism. - List and describe the different levels of feudalism. - Explain the purpose of the craft.

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Presentation on theme: "Life in the Middle Ages - Explain the role of serfs in feudalism. - List and describe the different levels of feudalism. - Explain the purpose of the craft."— Presentation transcript:

1 Life in the Middle Ages - Explain the role of serfs in feudalism. - List and describe the different levels of feudalism. - Explain the purpose of the craft guilds. - Explain how feudalism and the manor system affected the lives of the nobility in medieval Europe. - Explain how the manor system led to the growth of towns and cities.

2 The Church Christianity was an important part of daily life. Not all Europeans were Christians, but most were. Christians went on a pilgrimage – to Rome or Jerusalem. Rome was considered the “kingdom of the Christians.” –The pope, or Christian leader, lived in Rome. –He was just as powerful as the king.


4 Building Cathedrals Cathedrals had magnificent stained windows. Entire towns worked to build these large churches. The Chartres Cathedral in northwestern, France began in 1145 and was completed in 1260.

5 The Church

6 Devotion to Christianity Some young people devoted their lives to religion. –The men who did this were called monks. They studied, prayed, and lived in communities called monasteries. –The women who did this were called nuns. They lived in convents. Monasteries and convents served as centers for religion and education. In addition to studying and praying, monks and nuns cultivated the land. Some monks became missionaries, or people who teach a religion to people with different beliefs.

7 Feudalism Because of not having strong governments, people formed their own system to meet their need for protection and justice. Feudalism was a political, social, and economic system that began in the 800s. It provided the needed protection for people.

8 The Feudal System

9 Feudalism – A Social Structure At the top of this social pyramid was the monarch, a king or queen who was the supreme ruler. The next level included lords who pledged their loyalty to the monarch and military support in the event of a conflict. –In return, the monarch granted the lord an estate. The lord maintained the land, collected taxes, enforced order, and protected the serfs. –The serfs were the people who lived on the land and farmed it.

10 The Knights Many lords had knights, or warriors trained and prepared to fight on horseback. Knights had a code of behavior called chivalry. –A true knight had deep faith, was ready to die for the church, gave generously to all, and used his strength to stand against injustice.

11 A Knight’s Armor

12 Feudalism Declines Serfs formed the base of the society in the Middle Ages. Serfs did not have to be loyal to anyone. They were not slaves, but could not become knights. –They could not be bought or sold separate from the land. –They could not leave the land without the lord’s permission. Feudalism began to decline when lords began to build up their own military power and became independent of the monarch.

13 The Manor System The manor system was a way to manage feudal lands. Manors had four parts: –The manor house and village –Farmland –Meadowland –Wasteland The manor house or castle was home to the lord of the estate.

14 The Manor System Most manors contained gardens around the castles. They also included a church and a mill for grinding grain into flour. Serfs cottages were clustered together forming a small village. –A cottage usually consisted of a single room with little floor space and a low ceiling. –They had small vegetable and fruit gardens.

15 A Serf’s Cottage

16 The Life of a Serf Many serfs shared their cottages with other serfs. –They shared livestock and other animals on the manor. They warmed themselves with wood they chopped from nearby forests. Many serfs worshiped in churches. Serfs worked the land using the three- field rotation system.

17 Three Field Rotation System Each serf was assigned a strip of land in each of the manor’s three fields. In the fall, the field was planted with wheat or rye. In the spring, the second field was planted with oats and barley. The third field was left empty so the soil would stay fertile. –Each year, the fields were rotated. This system met the needs of the lord, the knights, and the serfs that lived there. It even allowed for crop surpluses. –With a surplus, towns and cities grew.

18 Three Field Rotation System

19 Guilds A guild was a group of people united by a common interest. A merchant guild included all of the traders in a town. The guild worked together to buy large quantities of goods and cheaply to control the market. Workers such as bakers, goldsmiths, tailors, and weavers formed craft guilds The guilds controlled the quantity and quality of production. They protected the town’s merchants and craftspeople from having to compete with those from outside the town.

20 Medieval Women Most women had few rights. Unmarried women who owned land did have rights, but once they married they had to give them up. A lady or a woman of noble birth, was given little opportunity to make decisions about her life. –She had little to do with the land. –Nurses took care of the children. A woman living in the village had more work to do. –They worked with their husbands on the land. Christine de Pisan was one of the few medieval women to earn a living by writing. –She wrote poetry and books protesting the way women were both glorified and insulted by male authors.

21 Christine de Pisan

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