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Early Medieval Europe

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Early Medieval Europe FEUDALISM – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Early Medieval Europe


1
Early Medieval Europe
  • FEUDALISM

2
Following the death of Charlemagne,
central government again weakened
and disappeared
in Europe. His successors were unable to
provide protection for the people against outside
invasion. Trade and communication declined once
again. Local communities were forced to become
self-sufficient and sought ways to protect
themselves. The result was a new political,
social, and economic system which provided for
the needs of local people. This system became
known as Feudalism. By the mid 1000s feudalism
had become a way of life throughout Western
Europe.
3
What is Feudalism?
  • A political system of local government and
    military defense
  • A social system of distinct class based on land
    holding
  • An economic system of self-sufficient manors

4
Origins of Feudalism
  • Feudalism began in France in the late 800s
    following the death of Charlemagne
  • Feudalism arose primarily as a means of
    protection against invaders, especially the
    Vikings
  • Feudalism spread throughout Europe over the next
    two centuries

5
Feudalism as a Political System
  • Fiefs - Large tracts of land granted to someone
    in return for service and loyalty
  • Vassals - People who were granted land in return
    for service and loyalty
  • Lords - Nobles who granted fiefs to vassals in
    return for service and loyalty

6
King
7
King
Protection
Fiefs
Royal Vassels
Powerful Lord
Powerful Lord
Powerful Lord
8
King
Protection
Fiefs
Royal Vassels
Powerful Lord
Powerful Lord
Powerful Lord
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
9
King
Protection
Fiefs
Royal Vassels
Powerful Lord
Powerful Lord
Powerful Lord
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
10
King
Protection
Service
Loyalty
Fiefs
Royal Vassels
Powerful Lord
Powerful Lord
Powerful Lord
Protection
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
Lesser Lord
Service
Loyalty
Fiefs
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Knights
Peasants
Peasants
Peasants
11
FEUDAL SOCIETY
King Powerful Lords Lesser Lords
UPPER
Knights
MIDDLE
Clergy
LOWER
Serfs
12
Feudal Society
Upper Class
  • King - Owned all land
  • Powerful Lord - Royal Vassal of the King
  • Lesser Lord - Vassals of Powerful Lords
  • Knights - Lowest and most numerous group of
  • nobles

13
Feudal Society
Upper Class
  • King - Owned all land
  • Powerful Lord - Royal Vassal of the King
  • Lesser Lord - Vassals of Powerful Lords
  • Knights - Lowest and most numerous group of
  • nobles

Middle Class
Clergy - Priests, monks, nuns, bishops
14
Feudal Society
Upper Class
  • King - Owned all land
  • Powerful Lord - Royal Vassal of the King
  • Lesser Lord - Vassals of Powerful Lords
  • Knights - Lowest and most numerous group of
  • nobles

Middle Class
Clergy - Priests, monks, nuns, bishops
Lower Class
Serfs - Bound to land through oath of loyalty to
a lord. Usually uneducated. Served on lords
manor and in the military
15
Feudalism as an Economic System
The most important aspect of the feudal system
was the large estate called a manor. The manor
acted as a self-sufficient economic unit and
generally ranged from 500 to 5000 acres. The
economic system of feudalism is therefore known
as Manoralism

16
Feudalism as an Economic System
A typical manor consisted of the following
  • Farm and Pasture Land
  • The Lords land - best of the land. Usually 1/3
    of the manor
  • Serfs land - Spread throughout the manor.
    Usually poor in fertility
  • The Lords Castle
  • Center of political and military activity.
  • Provided protection during attack

The Village Contained serfs huts, artisans
shops, and the lord wine press, flour mill, and
baking ovens.
17
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18
Knighthood
  • The lowest level of nobility was the knight.
    Generally, the sons of nobles would be trained as
    knights beginning at an early age. Eventually,
    the knight might become a lord after inheriting
    the wealth and land of his father. Others could
    become knights too. There were two types of
    knights

19
Knighthood
  • Knights of the Bath

Knights of the bath were sons of nobles trained
to become knights. They were trained in three
stages
Page At age 7, the young boy was sent to the
castle of a lord where he waited on his host and
learned manners. He spent leisure time hunting
and playing war games with other pages
20
Knighthood
Squire Around age 14, the page would be
promoted to a squire. He was assigned to a
knight and would help him with weapons and armor.
He traveled with the knight into battle and
practiced his skills.
21
Knighthood
Knight Around age 21, the squire became a
full fledged knight. He first had to take an
elaborate bath to wash away the impurities of
body and soul. He then spent a day fasting and a
night praying. He then knelt before the lord who
dubbed him a knight by tapping him on the
shoulder with a sword.
22
Knighthood
Knights of the Field A young man could
occasionally become a knight by showing valor on
the battlefield. He could be knighted by a lord
without going through formal training
23
The Code of Chivalry
Late in the period of feudalism, a code of
conduct developed that would change feudal life.
This code, called the Code of Chivalry stressed

1. Loyalty to God and the knights lord 2.
Protection of the oppressed and poor 3. Courage,
courtesy, and generosity 4. Support of justice 5.
Defense of Christianity
24
Decline of Feudalism
Feudalism began to gradually disappear in the
late 1100s. Disease, ignorance, poverty, and
superstition dominated the feudal era and
contributed to its demise. However, the two main
reasons for the decline were The Crusades and The
Rise of Nation States.

The Crusades (1095-1291) Four major religious
wars in which Europeans attempted to reclaim the
Holy Land from the Moslems. Europeans were
introduced to eastern ideas and goods. As the
demand for eastern goods increased, feudal
economies began to weaken.
The Rise of Nation States
Between the 14th and 17th centuries, nation
states developed powerful governments headed by
absolute monarchs. Feudal governments weakened
as a result.
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