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Feudalism in Europe.

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Presentation on theme: "Feudalism in Europe."— Presentation transcript:

1 Feudalism in Europe

2 Invasions of Western Europe
The period from 500 to 1500 CE in western Europe is known as the “middle ages.” In the 5th century, Germanic invaders overran the western half of the Roman Empire. Europe developed an agricultural economy with a decentralized political order in which political authority was invested in local and regional governments. Who were the Germanic peoples? The Germanic peoples (also called Teutonic in older literature) are a historical ethno-linguistic group, originating in Northern Europe and identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Common Germanic in the course of the Pre-Roman Iron Age. The descendants of these peoples became, and in many areas contributed to, the ethnic groups of North Western Europe: the Danish, Norwegians, Swedish, Finland-Swedes, Faroese, English, Icelanders, Germans, Austrians, Dutch and Flemish, and the inhabitants of Switzerland, Alsace and Friesland on the continent. Migrating Germanic peoples spread throughout Europe in Late Antiquity ( ) and the Early Middle Ages. Germanic languages became dominant along the Roman borders (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and England), but in the rest of the (western) Roman provinces, the Germanic immigrants adopted Latin (Romance) dialects. Furthermore, all Germanic peoples were eventually Christianized to varying extents. The Germanic people played a large role in transforming the Roman Empire into Medieval Europe.

3 Invasions of Western Europe
After the fall of the Roman Empire in the west in 476 B.C.E. Germanic people gradually displaced Roman authority. The Visigoths conquered Spain, the Ostrogoths and then the Lombards dominated Italy. The Burgundians settled in southern and western Gaul. The Burgundians were the most powerfully influential of the Germanic groups. They developed an agricultural-based decentralized society which shifted the center of gravity from Italy to France.

4 Successor states to the Roman empire, ca. 500 C.E.

5 Invasions of Western Europe
The Germanic invaders who stormed Rome could not read or write. Level of learning sank. Few people were literate except priests and church officials. Knowledge of Greek was almost lost. As German-speaking people mixed with the Roman population, Latin changed. Different dialects developed as new words and phrases became part of everyday speech. By the 800’s, French, Spanish and other Roman languages had evolved from Latin. The development of various languages mirrored the continued breakup of a once-unified empire.


7 Germanic Kingdoms Emerge
In the years between 400 and 600 small Germanic kingdoms replaced Roman provinces. The borders of those kingdoms changed often with war. During this time of political chaos, the church provided order and security.

8 Germanic Kingdoms Emerge
Family ties and personal loyalty, rather than citizenship in a public state, held Germanic society together. Germanic peoples lived in small communities that were governed by unwritten rulers and traditions. Every Germanic chief led a band of warriors who had pledged their loyalty to him. Germanic warriors felt no obligation to a king they did not know. Also, they would not obey an official sent to collect taxes.

9 Germanic Kingdoms Emerge
In the Roman province of Gaul (France and Switzerland), a Germanic people called the Franks held power. The leader of the Franks, Clovis, brought Christianity to the region. When he converted, the Church in Rome welcomed his conversion. By 511, Clovis had united the Franks into one kingdom.

10 Germanic Peoples Adopt Christianity
By 600, the Church, with the help of Frankish rulers, had converted many Germanic peoples. These new converts settled in Rome’s former lands. Missionaries also spread Christianity. To adapt to rural conditions the Church built religious communities called monasteries. Christian men called monks gave up their possessions and devoted their lives to God in these monasteries.

11 Germanic Peoples Adopt Christianity
Around 520, an Italian monk named Benedict wrote a book describing the strict, practical rules for monasteries. Benedict’s sister, Scholastica, headed a convent and adapted the same rule for women. Poverty, chastity, and obedience became prime virtues for monks and their religious sisters. Monasteries also became Europe’s best-educated communities. Monks opened schools, maintained libraries, and copied books.

12 Papal Power Spreads Under Gregory
In 590, Gregory I, also called Gregory the Great became Pope. As head of the church in Rome, Gregory broadened the authority of the pope’s office, beyond its spiritual role. Under Gregory, the papacy became political ruler and the pope’s palace was the center of Roman government. Gregory used church money to raise armies, repair roads, and help the poor. According to Gregory, the region from Italy to England and from Spain to Germany fell under his responsibility. This ideas of a church kingdom, ruled by a pope, would be a central theme of the Middle Ages. In 590, Gregory I, also called Gregory the Great became Pope. As head of the church in Rome, Gregory broadened the authority of the pope’s office, beyond its spiritual role. Under Gregory, the papacy became a secular, or worldly power involved in politics. The pope’s palace was the center of Roman government. Gregory used church money to raise armies, repair roads, and help the poor. According to Gregory, the region from Italy to England and form Spain to Germany fell under his responsibility. This ideas of a church kingdom, ruled by a pope, would be a central theme of the Middle Ages.

13 Germanic Kingdoms Emerge
The Franks controlled the largest and strongest of Europe’s kingdoms. By 700, a mayor of the royal household and estates became more powerful than the king. Charles Martel extended the Franks’ reign and defeated Muslim raiders from Spain. Charles Martel’s victory against Muslim raiders made him a Christian hero.

14 Charlemagne Becomes Emperor
Martel’s descendants established the Carolingian Dynasty which ruled from 751 to 987. Charles, who was known as Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, ruled the kingdom. Charlemagne conquered new lands to the south and east and spread Christianity in the process. Charlemagne reunited western Europe for the first time since the Roman Empire. In 800, Charlemagne crushed an attack on the pope, so Pope Leo III crowned him emperor.


16 The Beginnings of Feudalism
Charlemagne limited power of the nobles. He sent out royal agents to make sure powerful landholders governed counties fairly. He kept a close watch on management of huge estates. He opened a palace school and ordered monasteries to open schools to train future monks and priests. The central authority broke down which led to a new system of governing and landholding called feudalism.

17 Invaders Attack Western Europe
After Charlemagne’s death, internal disunity and external invasions brought an end to the Carolingian empire. Charlemagne’s heir, his son Louis, had three sons who fought and divided the empire into three kingdoms. From 800 to 1000 invasions destroyed the Carolingian Empire. Muslim invaders from the south seized Sicily and raided Italy and sacked Rome. The Magyars from Hungary and the Vikings from northern Europe completed the destruction of centralized rule in western Europe. The Vikings were motivated by population pressures I Scandinavia an by their firm resistance to conversion attempts by Christian missionaries. Using shallow draft boats and a detailed knowledge of tides and locations of settlements, the Vikings raided coastal and inland sites using rivers as highways for rapid and unexpected assaults on monasteries, villages and even cities throughout northern and southern Europe.


19 Invaders Attack Western Europe
The Vikings who came from Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) were a Germanic people who worshipped warlike gods. Viking ships held 300 warriors who took turns rowing the ship’s 72 oars. Viking ships could travel in creeks that were three feet deep. Vikings were warriors, traders, farmers and explorers. They traveled to not only western Europe, but also Russia, Constantinople and even the north Atlantic. As the Vikings accepted Christianity, they stopped raiding monasteries. As a result of a warming trend in Scandinavia, more Vikings resorted to farming.

20 Viking Ship

21 Invaders Attack Western Europe
The Magyars, a group of nomadic peoples from what is now Hungary, invaded western Europe in the late 800’s. The Muslims, from their stronghold in North Africa, attacked what is now Italy and Spain. The invasions by Vikings, Magyars, and Muslims caused widespread disorder and suffering.

22 The Establishment of Regional Authorities
The Carolingian empire was no match for the Muslims, Magyars, and Vikings. In England, smaller kingdoms established by the Angles and the Saxons were led by King Alfred to conquer Danish kingdoms on the north of the island. In Germany, King Otto of Saxony led the right against the Magyar invasion, forming the basis for German identity, and even earning the title of Holy Roman Emperor France devolved into a region of small principalities run by counts and other subordinates of the decaying Carolingian rulers. The Vikings established their own settlements in northern France. The end of the invasions and the establishment of a stable, decentralized political order laid the foundation for social, economic, and cultural development in western Europe.

23 Feudalism in Western Europe
The feudal system was based on rights and obligations. In exchange for military protection and other services, a lord or landowner granted land called a fief. The person receiving a fief was called a vassal. The structure of feudal society was much like a pyramid. King Vassals – wealthy landowners Knights – horsemen who defended their lords’ lands in exchange for fiefs. Landless peasants who worked fields.

24 Serfs Serfs, not fully free nor fully slave, cultivated land owned by the lords in exchange for protection and small plots of land to cultivate. Serfs usually had the right to work land pass it along to their offspring as long as they fulfilled their obligations to the landlords. Serfs’ duties included working the lords’ land, planting and harvesting, returning a portion of the bounty from their own crops, s well as weaving, milling, building, sewing, or brewing s the lord required.

25 The Knight By the 1100’s, a code of behavior began to arise.
High ideals guided warriors’ actions. Knights were expected to display courage in battle and loyalty to their lord. The Code of Chivalry was a complex set of ideals that demanded a knight fight bravely in defense of three masters, i.e. his feudal lord, his heavenly lord, and his chosen lady. Many songs and poems were written about a knight’s love for his lady. Troubadours were traveling poet-musicians who traveled to castles and courts of Europe.

26 Social Classes in Western Europe
Social classes were well defined. Those who fought: nobles and knights Those who prayed – men and women of the Church Those who worked – peasants In Europe, the vast majority of the people were peasants. Most peasants were serfs, people who could not lawfully leave the place where they were born.

27 The Manor System The manor was the lord’s estate.
The manor system was an economic system. The manor system rested on a set of rights and obligations between lord and serfs. The lord provided serfs with housing, farmland and protection from bandits. In return, serfs tended the lord’s lands, cared for his animals, and performed other tasks. Peasant women shared in the farm work with their husbands. Local small markets for goods and services not easily manufactured on the manors developed around regional monasteries and cathedrals. A manor covered only a few squares miles of land. The manor was a self-sufficient community. The serfs and peasants produced everything they needed for daily life.

28 Definition of a Manor What exactly were Medieval Manors
Definition of a Manor What exactly were Medieval Manors? A manor was the district over which a lord had domain and could exercise certain rights and privileges in medieval England. A typical manor would include a Manor House which was built apart from the village where the peasants lived. Medieval Manors - Feudalism & Grants of Land Middle Ages Feudalism was based on the exchange of land, called a fief, for military service. King William the Conqueror used the concept of feudalism to reward his Norman supporters for their help in the conquest of England. The land belonging to the English was taken and given to Norman Knights and Nobles. These estates were known as Manors. Life lived under the Medieval Feudal System, or Feudalism, demanded that everyone owed allegiance to the King and their immediate superior. Everyone was expected to pay for the land by providing the following services: Work days - completing any chores required Providing trained soldiers to fight for the King and clothes and weapons for the soldiers The Owners of Medieval Manors - Ecclesiastical Manors Not all manors were held necessarily by lay lords rendering military service (or again, cash in lieu) to their superior. A substantial number of manors (estimated by value at 17% in England in 1086) belonged directly to the king. An even greater proportion (rather more than a quarter) were held by bishoprics and monasteries. Ecclesiastical manors tended to be larger, with a significantly greater villein area than neighbouring lay manors. How big were the Medieval Manors? What were Fiefs? Medieval manors varied in size but were typically small holdings of between acres. Every noble had at least one manor; great nobles might have several manors, usually scattered throughout the country; and even the king depended on his many manors for the food supply of the court. England, during the period following the Norman Conquest, contained more than nine thousand of these manorial estates. Another name given to this land was a Fief. A fief was the land held by a vassal of a lord in return for stipulated services, chiefly military. Fief Medieval Manors - The Lands of the Manors The lord's land was called his "demesne," or domain which he required to support himself and his retinue. The rest of the land of the Manors were allotted to the peasants who were his tenants. A peasant, instead of having his land in one compact mass, had it split up into a large number of small strips (usually about half an acre each) scattered over the manor, and separated, not by fences or hedges, but by banks of unploughed turf. Besides his holding of farm land each peasant had certain rights over the non-arable land of the manors - the common land. He could cut a limited amount of hay from the meadow. He could turn so many farm animals including cattle, geese and swine on the waste. He also enjoyed the privilege of taking so much wood from the forest for fuel and building purposes. A peasant's holding, which also included a house in the village, thus formed a self-sufficient unit. Medieval Manors - Hunting on the lands of the Manors The Feudal System right of hunting was of all privileges dearest to and most valued by the nobles. The severest and cruellest penalties were imposed on "villains" who dared to kill the smallest head of game on the lands owned by the lord. Medieval Manors - The Manor House The lords who occupied his manor would invariably build a Manor House for his wife and family. Manors which were not occupied by the lord were managed on his behalf by a bailiff. The Manor House was residential property, and differed from castles in that it was not built for the purpose of attack or defence. The Manor House varied in size, according to the wealth of the lord but generally consisted of a Great Hall, solar, kitchen, storerooms and servants quarters. Medieval Manors - The names of the Medieval people who worked on the manors The lords of the Medieval Manors exercised certain rights including Hunting and Judicial rights. The Lord of the Manor was based in the Manor House and from here he conducted the business of the manor. People who worked on the manor are described as follows: Vassal - A Vassal or Liege was a free man who held land ( a fief ) from a lord to whom he paid homage and swore fealty. A vassal could be a Lord of the Manor but was also directly subservient to a Noble or the King Bailiff - A Bailiff was a person of some importance who undertook the management of manors Reeve - A Reeve was a manor official appointed by the lord or elected by the peasants Serf - A serf was another name for a peasant or tennant. Medieval Serfs were peasants who worked his lord's land and paid him certain dues in return for the use of land, the possession (not the ownership) of which was heritable. The dues were usually in the form of labor on the lord's land. Medieval Serfs were expected to work for approximately 3 days each week on the lord's land. Peasant or Villein - A peasant or villein was a low status tenant who worked as an agricultural worker or laborer. A peasant or villein usually cultivated acres of land Cottager: A low class peasant with a cottage, but with little or no land who generally worked as a simple laborer Servant: Servants were house peasants who worked in the lord's manor house, doing the cooking, cleaning, laundering, and other household chores Medieval Manors - The Role of a Yeoman A yeoman owned his own land and often farmed it himself. His land would be equivalent to acres. A yeoman of the Middle Ages was required to be armed and trained with a bow. Wealthy yeoman would be expected to also be trained and armed with a sword, dagger and the longbow. Yeoman were therefore often employed to guard and protector the nobility.

29 The Economy of Early and Medieval Europe
By the early middle ages in western Europe, Trade had slowed with the disintegration of cities and transportation infrastructure, and with repeated invasions of the Germanic peoples, the Muslims, the Magyars, and the Vikings. By the tenth century CE, political stability, led to a renewed trading relationship with the eastern hemisphere.

30 The Economy of Early and Medieval Europe
The advent of the moldboard plow, the construction of watermills, and the development of a useful horse collar, allowed cultivators to put more land to use and to experiment with new crops and crop rotation systems. There was sufficient agricultural surplus to support life on the manor and small local communities but not enough surplus to support large urban centers. Local markets and peddlers traded from settlement to settlement, bringing goods from the east to the small markets of western Europe. By 1000 C.E. new crops such as hard durum rice, spinach, eggplants, lemons, oranges, and melons all made their way west to Europe.

31 The Economy of Early and Medieval Europe
In the North Sea and Baltic Sea, maritime trade continued to grow. The Norsemen, descendents of earlier Viking invaders, established ports from Russia to Ireland. These ports linked Europe with the borders of the Islamic world. Silver traded from the Abbasid empire for European honey, fish, and furs, was the principal source of minted coins in early medieval Europe.

32 The Economy of Early and Medieval Europe
The adoption of Roman Christianity, finalized by the conversion of the Frankish king, Clovis, ensured western Europe would inherit crucial cultural elements from Rome, including language and institution. The Franks and the Roman church found benefits to both church and state through their relationship. For the Franks, close connections to the church provided an educated workforce for their bureaucracy and legitimacy for their growing empire. For the Church, the Franks, especially Charlemagne, helped to convert reluctant pagans, especially the Lombards and Saxons, to Roman Christianity.

33 The Papcy Strong papal leadership also contributed to the growth and power of Roman Christianity. The Great Schism of East and West in 1054 permanently forged separate identities for the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Pope Gregory I ensured the survival of the Roman Catholic church and the city Rome by: (1) consistently asserting papal primacy—the idea that the Bishop of Rome was also the ultimate authority in the Christian church, (2) emphasizing the sacraments, especially penance and thus the need for an educated clergy, (3) promoting an active missionary movement especially in England, France, and Germany, and (4) promoting monasticism as a way to serve God and church.

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