Section 1: Peasants, Trade & Cities The near doubling of Europes population, combined with more peaceful and settled conditions, contributed to major improvements to life in Europe. Reasons for the change included: the development of labor-saving devices, improvements in farming that increased food production, and a revival of trade. Trade, in turn, contributed to the development of a money economy, the resettlement of ancient cities, and the emergence of new cities. Many people still lived as peasants. They combined agricultural and craft work to provide for their families, while turning over part of what they produced to the lord of the manor. The cities, meanwhile, were crowded, dirty places that nevertheless provided new opportunities for men and women. In the cities, guilds regulated employment in many crafts and professions.
Manorialism: The Lord of the Manor For safety and defense, people in the Middle Ages formed small communities around a central lord or master.
Manorialism: The Manor Most people lived on a manor, which consisted of the castle (or manor house), the church, the village, and the surrounding farm land.
Manorialism: Self-Sufficiency Each manor was largely self- sufficient, growing or producing all of the basic items needed for food, clothing, and shelter. To meet these needs, the manor had buildings devoted to special purposes, such as: The mill for grinding grain The bake house for making bread The blacksmith shop for creating metal goods.
Isolation These manors were isolated, with occasional visits from peddlers, pilgrims on their way to the Crusades, or soldiers from other fiefdoms.
The Feudal System Under the feudal system, the king awarded land grants or fiefs to his most important nobles, barons, and bishops, in return for their contribution of soldiers for the kings armies.
Nobles and Vassals Nobles were the highest ranked people on the manor. They divided their land among the lesser nobility, who became their vassals. Many of these vassals became so powerful that the kings had difficulty controlling them.
The Peasants At the lowest level of society were the peasants, also called serfs or villeins. The lord offered his peasants protection in exchange for living and working on his land.
Hard Work & High Taxes Peasants worked hard to cultivate the land and produce the goods that the lord and his manor needed. They were heavily taxed and were required to relinquish (give to the noble) much of what they harvested.
In peasant families, the wife did the cooking and baking. The peasant diet consisted of breads, vegetables from their own gardens, dairy products from their own sheep, goats, and cows, and pork from their own livestock. Pantries were hung with birds and beasts, including swans, blackbirds, ducks, pigeons, rabbits, mutton, venison, and wild boar. Many of these animals were caught on hunts.
Women: Household Chores Whether they were noble or peasants, women held a difficult position in society. They were largely confined to household tasks such as cooking, baking bread, sewing, weaving, and spinning. However, they also hunted for food and fought in battles, learning to use weapons to defend their homes and castles.
MEDIEVAL LIFE Cooperation and Mutual Obligations KING MANORIALISM: FEUDALISM: ECONOMIC SYSTEM POLITICAL SYSTEM Fief and Peasants Agriculture the basis for wealth Decentralized, local Loyalty Military Aid Lands divided up into self- LORDS (VASSALS TO KING) government sufficient manors Dependent upon the Peasants (serfs) worked the relationship between land and paid rent In exchange members of the nobility for protection Lord and his vassals Barter the usual form of Food Protection Shelter administered justice and exchange were the highest authority Homage Military Service in their land KNIGHTS (VASSALS TO LORDS) Food Protection Shelter Farm the Pay Land PEASANTS (SERFS) Rent
The Magna Carta Under Manorialism, nobles often became quite powerful and kings would have difficulty controlling them. As a result, the nobles would question the decisions of the king and challenge his power. In 1215, the English barons formed an alliance that forced King John to sign the Magna Carta. It limited the kings powers of taxation and required trials by jury. The powerful nobles were able to force the King to be subject to the law for the first time in European history.
Section 2: Christianity and Medieval Civilization A sign of the Churchs growing role in European affairs was the Concordat of Worms. By barring monarchs from investing (nominating or creating) bishops, this document marked a victory for Pope Gregory VII in his bid to reform the Church and assert papal power. The importance of the sacraments for ordinary Christians gave the Church a central role in peoples lives. The veneration of saints was also popular and spurred interest in a long list of saints who Christians believed could intercede in heaven on their behalf. Religious fervor prompted new monastic orders to spring up for men and women. The new orders developed an activistic spiritual model. Finally, the Inquisition gave the Church a tool for discouraging heresy. Those who failed to do proper penance for heresy could face execution.
The Catholic ChurchThe Catholic Church was the only church inEurope during the Middle Ages, and it had its ownlaws and large income.Church leaders such as bishops and archbishopssat on the kings council and played leading rolesin government.The PAPACY is the office of the Pope, the headof the Catholic church. During the middle ages,the pope became more powerful than the kings oftheir day. Corruption was rampant with thispower. Offices of the church were sold to thehighest bidder and a token was given to show thispower, known as lay investiture. Pope GregoryVII tried to end this
Bishops Bishops, who were often wealthy and came from noble families, ruled over groups of parishes called dioceses. Many times, they were part of the feudal system and in exchange for a fief and peasants had to provide homage and military aid to a liege lord.
Parish Priests Parish priests, on the other hand, came from humbler backgrounds and often had little education. The village priest tended to the sick and indigent and, if he was able, taught Latin and the Bible to the youth of the village
Monasteries, Monks & Nuns Monasteries in the Middle Ages were based on the rules set down by St. Benedict in the sixth century. The monks became known as Benedictines and took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to their leaders. Monks were required to perform manual labor and were forbidden to own property, leave the monastery, or become entangled in the concerns of society. Daily tasks were often carried out in silence. Monks and their female counterparts, nuns, who lived in convents, provided for the less-fortunate members of the community. Monasteries and nunneries were safe havens for pilgrims and other travelers.
Section 3: The Culture of the High Middle Ages The first universities were established in twelfth-century Italy, France, and England as educational guilds. Most students received a liberal arts education. Theology was the most prestigious subject and was heavily influenced by scholasticism. Scholasticism sought to reconcile faith and reason and to harmonize Christian teachings with recently rediscovered works of Greek philosophers. The best-known practitioner of scholasticism was Saint Thomas Aquinas. Although Latin was the universal language of medieval civilization, new literature —mainly poetry—was appearing in regional languages, such as French, English, and Spanish; this is called vernacular literature because it is written in the everyday language of the people. An eleventh- and twelfth-century building boom produced many new churches. Innovations in architecture made it possible to build soaring Gothic cathedrals, one of the artistic triumphs of the High Middle Ages.
Architecture Early Christian: Flat roofs, and long rectangular shapes used in Roman basilicas. Romanesque: Replaced flat wooden roofs with rounded barrel vault ceilings. Gothic: The use of flying buttresses allowed architects to create a feeling of upward movement in the Gothic cathedrals.
The Canterbury Tales Chaucers Canterbury Tales is a series of stories told by 30 pilgrims as they traveled to Canterbury. It is an early example of vernacular literature (literature written in the common language of the day).
Peasants Home Architecture Many peasant families ate, slept, and spent time together in very small quarters, rarely more than one or two rooms. The houses had thatched roofs and were easily destroyed. Most medieval homes were cold, damp, and dark. Sometimes it was warmer and lighter outside the home than within its walls.
Woolen & Linen Clothing Most people in the Middles Ages wore woolen clothing, with undergarments made of linen. Brighter colors, better materials, and a longer jacket length were usually signs of greater wealth. The clothing of the aristocracy and wealthy merchants tended to be elaborate and changed according to the dictates of fashion. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, men of the wealthy classes sported hose and a jacket, often with pleating or skirting, or a tunic with a surcoat. Women wore flowing gowns and elaborate headwear, ranging from headdresses shaped like hearts or butterflies to tall steeple caps and Italian turbans.
Section 4: The Late Middle Ages Europes fortunes sank as bubonic plague carried by infested rats decimated Europes population. In a wave of anti-Semitism, many people attacked Jews, accusing them of causing the plague by poisoning the wells. The plague devastated Europes economy as well and accelerated the end of serfdom. Church power declined as European kings rejected papal claims of supremacy. Popular respect for the papacy was undermined by the Great Schism, a nearly forty-year papal crisis during which a rival papacy was set up in France. The Hundred Years War introduced new methods of warfare, adding to the problems of the late Middle Ages. The "new monarchies" of the fifteenth century reestablished the centralized power of the monarchies in England, France, and Spain.
Medicine was often a risky business. Bloodlettingwas a popular method of restoring a patients healthand "humors." Early surgery, often done by barberswithout anesthesia, must have been excruciating.Medical treatment was available mainly to thewealthy, and those living in villages rarely had thehelp of doctors, who practiced mostly in the citiesand courts. Remedies were often herbal in nature,but also included ground earthworms, urine, andanimal excrement.Many medieval medical manuscripts containedrecipes for remedies that called for hundreds oftherapeutic substances--the notion that everysubstance in nature held some sort of poweraccounts for the enormous variety of substances.BLACK DEATH…The PLAGUE…Bubonic PlaguePeople did not know what caused the plagueand blamed others, like the Jews. People wereafraid to gather together or travel. This hurt theeconomy.
Hundred Years’ warThe plague contributed to an economic crisis in Europe. It also contributed topolitical instability (along with the end of feudalism). The Hundred Years’ Warbegan when King Philip VI of France seized Gascony, which had been held by theEnglish. The duke of Gascony – King Edward III of England – declared waragainst the French. The war over English territory in France lasted until 1453.The Hundred Years’ War changed warfare forever; it was peasant foot soldiers whohelped win the war, not the Knights who had been fighting in the Crusades.
Hundred Years’ War There were several major battles in the war: 1346: Crecy; the English won because their archers were able to damage the French lines, which were in disarray 1415: Agincourt; the French lost when their heavy armor-plated soldiers and horses were bogged down by heavy mud 1450s – Normandy & Agincourt: The French, using a new weapon, the cannon, defeated the English (thanks to the invention of gunpowder!)
Joan of Arc Joan of Arc – born in 1412, she was the daughter of peasants; deeply religious, she came to believe that she was commanded by god to free France She persuaded the king to accompany the army to Orleans; inspired by her faith, they recaptured Orleans She was captured by the English and turned over to the Inquisition on charges of witchcraft; she was burned at the stake The war dragged on for another two years, but her death inspired the French, who defeated the English in Normandy and Aquitaine, resulting in a French victory in 1453
Political Recovery: France By the 15th century, Europe was beginning to recover from hundreds of years of violence and disease. After the Crusades, plague, and other wars, “new monarchies” began to reassert control over the European states After the Hundred Years’ War, France was exhausted, but united as a nation King Louis XI took advantage of this spirit to establish his power He used the taille – an annual tax on land or property, as a regular source of income, which helped create the foundations of a strong monarchy
Political Recovery: England The cost of the Hundred Years’ War strained the English economy The English were also vulnerable to an internal conflict – The War of the Roses – which was a fight over the monarchy In 1485, the Tudors won control of the monarchy and established a new dynasty Henry Tudor created a strong royal government, ended wars between the nobles by outlawing private armies, and helped refill the treasury through his saving measures and tax revenues
Political Recovery: Spain Spain also experienced the growth of a strong monarch Throughout the middle ages, Spain fought to remove the Muslims from their lands Two kingdoms rose out of the wars to remove the Muslims: Aragon and Castile Spain was united when Isabella of Castile married Ferdinand of Aragon They were strict Catholics and helped the Catholic Church run the Inquisition, trying to root out heretics in Spain
Central & Eastern Europe The Holy Roman Empire was unable to find a strong monarch; by the 15th century, Germany was divided into many independent states After 1438, the Holy Roman Emperor came from the Hapsburg dynasty, who ruled the Austrian lands along the Danube Religious differences caused problems in Eastern Europe, as the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches fought for influence in places like Poland and Hungary Finally, Russia was able to throw off the Mongols and a new Russian state was born, rules by the great prince Ivan III