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Medieval Europe Overview

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1 Medieval Europe Overview
Ms. Goggins HH World Studies HH World Studies

2 Medieval Europe The period in European History between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance (400s to 1400s AD)

3 Three Phases Early Middle Ages (400s-900s AD)
Known as the “Dark Ages”, characterized by declining population, scarcity of cultural achievements, and the unifying power of the Church; Carolingian Dynasty High Middle Ages (1000s-1200s AD) With the end of invasions, populations began to rise; characterized by Manorialism, feudalism, the rise of centralized states and the Crusades Late Middle Ages (1300s-1400s AD) Characterized by war and famine – the Black Death and Hundred Years War – along with intellectual and military developments Early Middle Ages (400s-900s AD) Known as the “Dark Ages”, characterized by declining population, scarcity of cultural achievements, and the unifying power of the Church; Carolingian Dynasty ; Also the time of the Rise of Islam and the Carolingian Renaissance High Middle Ages (1000s-1200s AD) With the end of invasions, populations began to rise; characterized by Manorialism, feudalism, the rise of centralized states and the Crusades Also known for rise of universities and scholasticism Late Middle Ages (1300s-1400s AD) Characterized by war and famine – the Black Death and Hundred Years War; peasant revolts, impact of Crusades felt – along with intellectual and military developments

4 Early Middle Ages (400s-900s AD)
Charlemagne's empire at his death included modern Catalonia, France, western Germany, the Low Countries and northern Italy.      Charlemagne's empire (814) Middle East/Balkans      East Roman Empire      Abbasid Caliphate      Bulgaria Northern Europe      Northmen      Finnish Tribes      Swedes and Goths      Danes Eastern Europe      Esthland      Slavonic Tribes      Kingdom of the Chazars      Atelensu      Kingdom of the Avars Britain and Ireland      Ireland      Picts      Scots      Welsh      England Italian peninsula      Duchy of Beneventum      Sardinia      Sicily Iberian peninsula      Kingdom of Asturias      Emirate of Cordova Early Middle Ages (400s-900s AD) Known as the “Dark Ages”, characterized by declining population, scarcity of cultural achievements, and the unifying power of the Church; Carolingian Dynasty

5 High Middle Ages (1000s-1200s AD)
With the end of invasions, populations began to rise; characterized by Manorialism, feudalism, the rise of centralized states and the Crusades

6 Late Middle Ages (1300s-1400s AD)
Characterized by war and famine – the Black Death and Hundred Years War – along with intellectual and military developments

7 Early Middle Ages (400s-900s AD) Known as the “Dark Ages”, characterized by declining population, scarcity of cultural achievements, and the unifying power of the Church; Carolingian Dynasty

8 Germanic Invaders Germanic peoples moved into former Roman empire
Medieval culture was a combination of Germanic values and Roman institutions Tribal leaders became kings Roman law mixed with German customs Christianity Image: An Anglo-Saxon parade helmet from Sutton Hoo (7th century AD). The Germanic Invaders The values of the Germanic people were shaped by their lifestyle. They were migratory, not nomadic, meaning that they moved when they needed more land for food or to escape enemies. This usually did not happy every couple years, but generations. The basis of a person’s value in Germanic society was their ability to fight. Women were also highly valued and their wisdom was consulted. As Germans moved into territory that was formally part of the Roman empire they encountered and assimilated many Roman customs and ideas. For example, tribal leaders began to consider themselves kings, and their best warriors were landed nobles. Another example is that although each German tribe had its own system of laws, there was no legal system to impose and so Roman law remained and mixed with Germanic custom.

9 Map of Germanic Invasions / Kingdoms

10 Latin Christendom The Civilization that dominated Europe after the fall of Rome – influenced by German Culture, Roman institutions, and THE CATHOLIC CHURCH Catholic Church offered structure and authority Only constant Offered promise of salvation The Rise of Latin Christendom Latin Christendom describes the civilization that dominated Europe after the fall of Rome and can be characterized by an amalgamation of Germanic culture and Roman and Christian traditions. The only constant force after the fall of the Roman Empire was Christianity and the Catholic Church. The structure of the Catholic Church was similar to that of the Roman imperial administration, but it remained strong because of the faith of its followers and the promise of salvation in a time of great upheaval. In Europe the Catholic Church was strongest due to its monasteries which served as bases for conversion as well as centers of knowledge, especially knowledge that had been generally forgotten. In the British Isles, monasteries were inspired by the mission of St. Patrick. On the mainland, monasteries adopted the Rule of St. Benedict which describe the humble lifestyle monks and nuns should lead. Pope Gregory the Great encouraged conversion by incorporating pagan customs, such as turning former temples into churches in order to maintain the same holy sites.

11 Church Hierarchy

12 Monasteries and Sacraments
Centers of knowledge Lived humble lifestyle according to Rule of Saint Benedict encouraged sacraments to provide people with a common path to achieve salvation The Church Feudalism and Manorialism divided society into particular classes and functions. The one institution that brought people together was the Church and common Christian beliefs. Religious ceremonies were a central part of social life, as was the parish church. Religious orders became wealthy thanks to nobles who wanted to safeguard their souls through prayer. Widows, daughters, and younger sons were often directed towards monastic careers for these same reasons. The downside of this was that nobles and kings became heavily involved in the future and security of the monasteries, even appointing abbots and bishops from their own families. To extend discipline and diminish the involvement of nobility, the monks of Cluny (who answered to the pope and not secular nobles) encouraged the sacraments in order to provide the people with a common path by which they could achieve salvation.

13 What role did Religion play in Medieval Europe
What role did Religion play in Medieval Europe? Why was the Church an important institution? Promise of salvation in chaotic times Monasteries preserved knowledge Offered structure and hierarchy / order and organization Provided a set of values Medieval kings desired the approval of Rome for legitimacy

14 The Franks strongest and most powerful Germanic Kingdom
Made alliance with Rome to solidify control over vast lands Greatest Frankish king was Charles the Great, or Charlemagne Fell apart under Charlemagne’s descendants The Franks The Frankish tribes were one of the strongest and most powerful of the Germanic kingdoms. First ruled by Clovis and the Merovingian dynasty, and then by Charlemagne and the Carolingian dynasty, these Frankish kings made alliances with Rome that helped them control their vast lands. When Pepin defeated the Lombards of Italy he granted land to the pope, known as the papal states. This made the pope both a secular and spiritual ruler. Pepin was also one of the first Frankish kings to be crowned by the pope, giving him divine approval. In order to solidify their claims as king (and therefore establishing that one could be above the rest) the Merovingian kings established the office of count: men without possessions who were given great lands and expected to be loyal officers of the kingdom, unlike landed aristocrats in most cases. Overtime the power of local landed magistrates made the king the ruler in name only. The Carolingians were more successful because they played to the strengths of the landed aristocrats and created counts out of the landed nobility. The Carolingians rose to power under the military prowess of Charles Martel, and owe their name to the dynasty’s greatest ruler, Carolus Magnus, Charles the Great, or Charlemagne.

15 Charlemagne In return for defending the Papal States he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo on Christmas Day, 800AD Valued learning created social stability Imposed hierarchical order Empire weakened under his heirs Question: Why would Frankish kings want to be crowned by a religious leader? Image: Coronation of Charlemagne, Grandes Chroniques de France, Jean Fouquet, Tours, ca (Second Book of Charlemagne)On 25 December of the year 800, St. Peter's in Rome, Charlemagne was crowned emperor by Pope Leo III. Carolingians and the Church The Carolingians used the church to pacify conquered neighboring tribes. The monasteries were a very power force in medieval Europe. Their monks were well educated and often served as royal officers. They owned vast tracks of land, and these landed estates served as profitable farms worked by serfs. When Pepin defeated the Lombards he was granted the title “patricius Romanorum” – Father Protector of the Romans. His son, Charlemagne, continued to defend the papal states of Italy although he harbored deep desires to be more than simply king of the Franks. He used the church to promote social stability and hierarchical order while building a palace city at Aachen. On Christmas day, 800, Charlemagne was crowned emperor by Pope Leo, thus creating the Holy Roman Empire. Even as emperor Charlemagne continued to struggle throughout his life to build a loyal bureaucracy. He valued learning and had a school built at Aachen to educated the sons of nobles for secular offices

16 High Middle Ages (1000s-1200s AD) With the end of invasions, populations began to rise; characterized by Manorialism, feudalism, the rise of centralized states and the Crusades

17 Feudalism Informal political system of Medieval Europe:
legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around three key concepts:  lords, vassals and fiefs Many small kingdoms Kings relied on nobles who controlled the land and serfs Valued loyalty and local self- sufficiency (fealty) In the wake of the weakened Carolingian Empire (which became too large to be effective) small kingdoms emerged in Europe. Even though these kingdoms were ruled by kings the real power rested in the hand of nobles who controlled the land. Civilization was now local and emphasized personal loyalty, mutual responsibility and local self-sufficiency. However the church continued to give Europe a sense of Christian identity. The Breakup of the Carolingian Kingdom Despite the vast empire Charlemagne ruled, regions continued to look out for their own interests first. Proximity to authority and loyalty made it difficult for individuals to give their loyalty to a distant ruler. According to Germanic rule, a ruler partitioned his land between surviving sons. Charlemagne’s son Louis the Pious had three sons. Not wanting to divide the empire, Louis made his eldest Lothar coregent and sole imperial heir. His other sons received lessor assigned lands. This plan was upset by Louis’ second wife who incited the brothers against each other. At the treaty of Verdun, the empire was partitioned into three equal parts. The empire of Charlemagne essentially ceased to exist. The division of the empire continued as each of these three rulers divided their land among their own sons. Wars over the lands formally belonging to Lothar (the middle kingdom and the first to be subdivided) led to the competition between east and west, or modern day France and Germany. The collapse of Carolingian political rule was also due to external threats from invaders known as Vikings in the north, Magyars (or Hungarians) from the eastern planes, and Muslims from North Africa). In order to resist invasions the Franks build fortified towns and castles in strategic locations. As a result local populations became more dependent on local strongmen, an essential precondition for the feudal society which would develop. The Emergence of Feudal Society Traditionally land was granted to nobles in exchange for military service. This was an obligation that passed from generation to generation. In order to continue protecting the kingdom as kings became weak, lords became responsible for providing protection through the practice of feudalism. Feudalism was based on a set of mutual obligations between lord and vassal and was based on an oath of loyalty or “fealty” Knights: mounted warriors Fief: land granted Lord: person who granted land to vassals or knights Vassals: person who received land Feudalism: the practice of pledging military service and loyalty in return for land and protection Feudalism was not a universal system. It developed over time, and the word itself was not coined until the 1800s. In reality, Feudalism is a part of larger social system characterized by aristocratic patrons and clients in which goods and services were provided in exchange for forms of protection. The practice of feudalism spread because lords sought more land to give to potential vassals. For example, the Normans extended Feudalism to the British isles as well as Sicily and Southern Italy.


19 Manorial System The dominant economic system of Medieval Europe
Peasants work the land of nobles in return for payment Self-sufficient 3 Field Crop-rotation The Manorial System Feudalism was a political and military system. The economic system of the Middle ages was the manorial system, where by peasants worked the land of nobles in return for a fixed payment. As town life dwindled, manors became self-sufficient entities. A portion of farmable land was worked by peasants who gave the lord crops, taxes and other jobs. In northern Europe the three-field system came into use. The earlier two-field system alternated fallow and planted fields each year. The three-field system increased the amount of cultivated land by leaving only one third fallow (instead of half). Peasant Life Serfs: peasants on a manor who could not leave the land without the lord’s permission. They were not slaves and could not be sold away. Free people on the manor may have included skilled workers who rented land from the lord and provided necessary services. Formal freeman became serfs by surrendering land to the nobles in exchange for protection and assistance. The man continued to work the land but with clear definition of what he owed to the lord in return. Peasant families lived together with their animals and worked together as a unit. However, life expectancy was short due to hunger, disease, accidence, and constant warfare Life of the Nobility Nobles were not immune to disease and warfare. Their lives may have been easier than the serfs, but was hardly luxurious. Members of the noble family had duties as well.

20 The Crusades a series of European expeditions to retake the Christian “Holy Land” from the Muslims Causes: religion, power, adventure Only the first was successful Effects: revived trade, new learning, growth of towns

21 Nation-Building Overtime, kings solidified their power over the nobility and created stronger, more centralized governments Examples: England France

22 England 1066 – Norman lord William the Conqueror invades England and takes the throne Domesday Book: survey of English land and ownership; useful for taxation and military service Magna Carta: king agreed to never raise taxes without the consent of nobility

23 Late Middle Ages (1300s-1400s AD) Characterized by war and famine – the Black Death and Hundred Years War – along with intellectual and military developments

24 Hundred Years War Series of conflicts between England and France fought on and off over a hundred year period [ ] Causes: Succession French lands National unity Economic rivalry The Challenge of War and National Unity In the absence of feudal lords, peasants looked to strong kings with sovereign power for protection and security. Loyalty to sovereign kings gave Europeans a new sense of national identity Medieval governments consisted of a carefully negotiated series of alliance with many parties, often dependent on familial ties. Each dynasty relied on the existence of male heirs to carry on its power. One example of a complicated feudal relationship was the fact that the vast holdings of the English king in the area of southern France (thanks to Eleanor of Aquitaine) made the English king a vassal of the French king. The Hundred Years’ War The Hundred Years War (1337 to 1453) was fought between the two strongest governments (nations) in Europe: France and England. When the king of France died without a male heir, the English king, Edward III, tried to claim the French thrown since he was in fact a vassal of the French king, holding extensive lands in southern France. Edward III’s claim to the thrown was that he was the grandson of Philip the Fair of France, and the last of Philip’s surviving sons had died without an heir. However, Edward was 15 at the time, and decidedly un-French in the eyes of the French nobility. However, the war was more than just a dynastic struggle. The proximity of France to England and the overlapping political and economic interest set the two nations on a perpetual collision course. At the beginning of the war, France was clearly the weaker opponent. Although France had three times the population and the advantage of home turf, they were crippled by internal disunity fed by social conflict. When the king called a meeting of the Estates General in 1355 to levy taxes he also allowed its members to enhance their own power and aggravate territorial divisions. The French further suffered from a lack of good leadership to counter the English military discipline and technological superiority. The Three Phases of the War Edwards secures the loyalty of the Flemish cites and seizes Calais as a gateway to France on the mainland. Meanwhile the Estates General demands political rights (similar to Magna Carta) from the weak monarchy, but as more pressure is put on the peasantry (rather than nobility) to account for military losses, the peasants revolt in 1358 in a rebellion known as the Jacquerie. However, Edward’s death and domestic problems (including their own peasant revolt) halt the English momentum. Henry V (allied with Burgundy) has himself declared heir to the French thrown in However, when Charles VI of France and Henry V both die two years later the infant Henry VI of England is proclaimed king of England and France. The French people, ignoring the claim of Henry VI, rally around the cause of Charles VII, inspired by the character of Joan of Arc. With Joan’s involvement, the French win a series of victories and Charles is crowned king in Rheims. However, Charles quickly abandons Joan, allowing her to be captured by the Burgundians, discredited by the English Inquisition at Rouen, and executed as a heretic. The war continued until 1453 when all that remained of English holding on the mainland were the port city of Calais. Joan of Arc was a French peasant girl who emerged in 1429 with a revelation from God to restore the French dauphin (heir) to the throne. Her involvement coincided with a change in the tide, as the French began to defeat the English. Even though Joan died, the French continued to push the English out of France (with the exception of Calais). This victory strengthened the power of the French monarchy. During the Hundred Years War, 44 years were spent in constant battle, while nearly 68 were relatively peaceful. The war weakened France , awakened French nationalism, and helped the state become more centralized. Due to the volatile position of the Netherlands during the war, the English were forced to develop their own clothing industry. In both countries the burdens fell hardest on the heavily taxed peasantry. The English throne, weakened by the defeat of the Hundred Years War, caused a civil war between rival noble houses that competed for the throne. At the end of the War of the Roses, Henry Tudor of the house of Lancaster became the first king of the Tudor dynasty. Effects of the Hundred Years Wars included the impacts on the monarchies of France and England. It also contributed to the downfall of Feudalism and a revolution in European warfare thanks to the English longbow which spelled the end of the knights. Gunpowder and cannons that could blast through castle walls were also introduced and allowed wealthy kings to control rebellious nobles. The Holy Roman Empire Elsewhere in Europe, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV was trying to rebuild his authority which had been sacrificed to German nobles in exchange for military supplies in previous decades. Charles’ Golden Bull of 1356 took away the pope’s role in the election of the emperor but ultimately weakened the emperor and created a merely honorary position beholden to its electors. Eventually the Hapsburg family would again centralize power and unify the peoples of central Europe.

25 Strengths and Weaknesses
ENGLAND FRANCE Larger population (about 16,000,000) Home-field advantage Far richer than England Internal disunity and social conflict Lack of good leadership Strong Central Government Military discipline Technological/weapons superiority The longbow Cannons Relied on strategy rather than numbers Avoided pitched battles Preferred quick raids England had many veterans from wars in Welsh and Scottish borderlands, and Ireland In almost every engagement, the English were outnumbered. Britain’s most successful strategies: Avoid pitched battles. Engage in quick, profitable raids Steal what you can. Destroy everything else. Capture enemy knights to hold for ransom. At one point, the French fielded an army of over 50,000  at most, Britain mustered only 32,000.

26 3 Phases of the Hundred Years War
1. English Advance into France 2. Internal Struggles Peasant revolts 3. French Rally around Joan of Arc Joan of Arc executed by English as a heretic ** In the end the English are driven out of France

27 Outcomes of the War England France
Civil War for the throne (War of the Roses) Development of industry (clothing) France nationalism More centralized state Heavy taxes on peasantry

28 Outcomes of the War Overall Burden on peasants Downfall of feudalism
Revolution in European warfare longbow = end of knights Gunpowder and cannons take down castle walls Allowed strong and wealthy king to centralize power at the expense of rebellious nobles

29 Black Death Cases of bubonic plague reached Italy in 1348 and quickly spread throughout Europe 25% to 50% of Europeans perished

30 Late Medieval Revival Revival of trade Rise of Towns
Revival of Learning European output of manuscripts 500–1500. The rising trend in medieval book production saw its continuation in the period.[134]

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