Chapter 1 notes


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Chapter 1 notes

  1. 1. Renaissance Chapter One:Times of Change
  2. 2. Middle Ages• Most of Europe was organized in a system called feudalism• Feudalism was set up in a hierarchy• Whatever level of the feudalism hierarchy you were born in is the level you would die in (if born into peasantry, you would live and die as a peasant)• Feudalism was based on land, loyalty, and duty
  3. 3. Feudalism – Knights and Nobles• In order for nobles or knights to obtain land they would have to swear oaths of allegiance (loyalty to the king) – Pieces of land were referred to as manors or fiefs
  4. 4. Feudalism – Barons and Bishops• Barons and Bishops had the same amount of power• Bishops were given land from the crown• Over time the church became a very large landowner• This led to the church being very important to the people of medieval times
  5. 5. Country Life• Most people in the middle ages were peasants• Peasants lived in rural villages that were located on a manor• Peasants worked cooperatively helping each other do various tasks (like plowing and haying)• In exchange for use of the land the peasants had to pay the nobles a portion of what they produced• On top of paying them for the land, they were also expected to build roads, clear forests, and do any other work that the lord ordered.
  6. 6. • Peasants were uneducated• Some peasants were known as freemen who rented land from the lord or worked for pay.• Most peasants were serfs• Serfs were not allowed to leave the manor without permission
  7. 7. Town Life• Most towns were located near a castle, palace, or a large monastery• Peasants would build stone walls around their town to protect them from rival cities and lords• Towns were overcrowded and dirty, but provided a chance for freedom and new opportunities – Freedoms included: doing whatever they wished, marrying whoever they wanted, and being free to make money
  8. 8. Towns• Guilds controlled the prices of goods, set quality standards, and decided who would be allowed to train or apprentice for certain trades• Guilds also took care of family members if an accident occurred• In order to open your own shop you would have to become a master, but first you would have to train to become a journeyman to get admitted into the guild. From there you would work to become a master
  9. 9. Challenging the Feudal System• Feudal system remained strong for hundreds of years• In 1337 war broke out between England and France• This war was called “The Hundred Year War”• This war caused the peasants to revolt because they were the ones who had to pay for it – War is expensive so what the crown did to pay for the war was raise the taxes that the peasants paid• Peasants banded together and killed many nobles and burned manor houses
  10. 10. The Black Death• The black death was the next blow to the feudal system• Millions of Europeans died between 1346 and 1350• Outbreaks of the plague continued for the next several hundred years• This caused labour shortages on the manor and many feudal estates went bankrupt
  11. 11. The Black Death• Nobles began renting and selling land to the serfs• Serfs were released from their obligation to their lords• All of this came about because the reduced labour force• Serfs were able to leave one lord to go work for another…we start to see a competitive market place for workers
  12. 12. A tidbit about clocks• People normally told time by using sun dials, water clocks, and hourglasses.• People started to become more dependent on the time so in the early 1300s mechanical clocks were developed
  13. 13. Wealth• With the rise of towns, society became less rigid• People were now able to move up from one social level to another• A new structure began to emerge• Power was now based on money, not ownership of land• People were more interested in material position and began displaying their wealth through the clothing they wore, decorations, furniture, and food• Sumptuary Laws were introduced because of the new found wealth
  14. 14. Sumptuary Laws• Sumptuary laws were put in place to control consumption (how people spent their money)• This restricted what people of different classes could wear
  15. 15. Society Based on Religion• Religion was a central part of people’s lives• Worldview was shaped by the Christian church• Because life was filled with sickness, famine, and war, the hope of a better life after death was important (suffer today, paradise tomorrow)
  16. 16. The Church Hierarchy Pope Archbishop Bishops Priests Parishioners
  17. 17. The Church Community• Every group in the church hierarchy had the duty to be obedient to the group above it and to provide services to the group below• Members of the congregation were expected to pay the church a tithe (a portion of their crops or earnings)• During the middles ages thousands of churches were built – Between the years 900 A.D. and 1000 A.D. over 1500 churches were built just in France• Monks and nuns were well educated
  18. 18. Changing Attitudes Towards Religion• Black Death made people question faith• Everyone was affected, even the church• No one was safe• People felt that God had abandoned them because their prayers were unanswered and people kept dying• People also questioned the wealth of the church• A big change was occuring
  19. 19. A New Age• The emergence of busy towns and a merchant class meant that society was less rigidly organized.• Worldly pleasure became more important• What came next was called the “Renaissance”• This term was coined by French historian Jules Michelet• Renaissance was the rebirth of classical knowledge and learning• The Renaissance movement began in Italy and spread through Europe