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Middle Ages
          The Middle Ages
• Cause: Began
   with the collapse
   of Roman
   civilization in W.
   Europe by A.D.
• Effect: With the
   Dark Ages (Early
   Middle Ages)
   came a loss of
   literacy & a
   throughout the
   west. Cities &
   towns declined,
   trade collapsed
   & people
   returned to a
   rural way of life.
       The Middle Ages
   Role of Christianity
• The Catholic Church was
  the only lasting Roman
  institution. It had great
  power as a spiritual
  empire and acted as the
  strongest civilizing force
  in the west.
• It began taking on more
  political and social tasks.
  High church officials
  became land owners
  which boosted its wealth
  & political power but
  often undermined its          Europe in A.D. 500
  spiritual aspects.
       The Middle Ages
• The Pope
  became the
  strongest                                  Pope Benedict XVI,
                                             the current Pope.
  leader in W.
  Europe &
  authority over
                    Simon Peter, the first
  all Christians.         Pope.
    The Middle Ages
• Monasteries
  remained the only
  upholding learning
  & an orderly way of
  life. Monks
  missionaries &
  converted most of
  W. Europe to
  Catholicism by
  A.D. 1000.
       The Middle Ages
                THE FRANKS
•   See The Franks and Charlemagne Reading.
        The Middle Ages
                       Feudalism (A.D. 1000)
• While internal feuding weakened kingdoms, invasions by Muslims,
  Magyars, Slavs & Vikings nearly destroyed them. Fear of these
  invasions resulted in Feudalism.
     The Middle Ages
 The feudal system
  (political) &
  manorial system
  (economic) were
  based on the
  exchange of land
  grants for loyalty
  between monarchs
  and lesser nobles
  designed to
  promote local
  protection, local
  government and
  local self-
        The Middle Ages
• The system was based
  on the king giving a fief
  (land grant) to a vassal
  (nobleman) in exchange
  for their loyalty and
  military aid. With the
  land came serfs
  (peasant slaves) who
  farmed it.
• In theory, feudal
  relationships were like a
  pyramid with the king at
  the top, various ranks of
  vassals called lords
  (knights) in the middle &
  the serfs/free peasants
  at the bottom.
        The Middle Ages
•   Feudalism decline
    as kings realized
    they were losing
    land & power to the
•   By 1100, many
    European monarchs
    began to build
    strong states & rid
    themselves of feudal
    ties. Though some
    feudal ties remained   William the Conqueror:
    in some areas of        A case study in why
    Europe until the        feudalism declined.
The Middle Ages
 The East-West
  Schism took place
  within the original
  church. In AD 1054,
  the church split
  into the Roman
  Catholic Church
  headed by the
  Pope in the west &
  the Eastern
  Orthodox Church
  led by the Patriarch
  in the East.
      The Middle Ages
Life During the Middle Ages:
•    See Reading.
      The Middle Ages
• Medieval city of Carcassonne .
               The Middle Ages
                    The Late Middle Ages
• By 1100, some monarchs began ridding themselves of feudal ties
  to build strong central gov’ts. Better farming methods led to
  larger crop yields & a growth in population, resulting in the growth
  of towns & trade. This transformation began with the Crusades.

             Europe in A.D. 1092
       The Middle Ages
                       THE CRUSADES
• In the 1100s, W. Europeans began the Crusades, a series of
  religious wars to win back the Holy Land from the Muslims.
       The Middle Ages
• Though Christians won
  control of this territory
  at times temporarily,
  they failed to regain
  the Holy Land
  film Kingdom of
  Heaven is about the
  first crusaders losing
  the Kingdom of
            The Middle Ages
•   Stimulated trade with Asia,
    strengthening the merchant
•   Enhanced the status of noble
    women managing castles &
    manors while their husbands
    were at war.
•   Weakened the nobility
    because many knights &
    lords were killed, captured, or
•   Europeans acquired Asian
    inventions (gunpowder,
    crossbow, compass, & Arabic
•   It also resulted in the
    animosity that still exists
    between Muslims & the West.
        The Middle Ages
   The Black Death
• The Black Death, or
  Bubonic Plague,
  started in China in
  the 1330s &
  eventually spread
  to Europe.
• It is a bacteria
  disease spread by
  small animals (rats)
  & their fleas.
            The Middle Ages
• It is a bacteria disease spread by small animals (rats) & their
  fleas. It kills about 2 out of 3 infected people in 2–6 days.
           The Middle Ages
                 Effects of the Black Death

• Population: 25 million (1/3 of the pop.) died from 1347-1352. It
  took 400 years to recover the population loss.
• Economy: serfs abandoned farms; food production & skilled
  workers & laborers decreased; wages, prices & lawlessness
• The Church: Its influence declined & people began turning away
  from the church because it had promised cures, treatment & an
  explanation for the plague, which they could not provide. Some of
  the clergy had abandoned their duties & fled. Doctors & priests had
  the highest mortality rates.
• Do Not Copy: Good website - http://www.insecta-
         The Middle Ages
      The Renaissance
• As a result of the
  Crusades in part, the M.
  Ages ended & the
  Renaissance began. The
  start of this new era varied
  from place to place
  starting in Italian city-
  states in the AD 1300s.
• It was characterized by a
  renewed interest in
  classical (Greek/Roman)
  ideas & for great works of
  art in painting, sculpting,
  music & literature.
The End

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