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The Middle Ages


The Middle Ages Importance of the Middle Ages Collapse of Rome No central government Germanic Kingdoms Little education Feudalism and Manorialism Monarchs and Nobles ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Middle Ages

The Middle Ages
Importance of the Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a very long period (500 A.D.
to 1300 A.D.) many significant historical
events take place within this time frame that
shape European society and western culture
  • Collapse of Rome
  • No central government
  • Germanic Kingdoms
  • Little education
  • Feudalism and Manorialism
  • Monarchs and Nobles
  • Domination of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Barter Economy
  • Agricultural Revolution
  • The Crusades
  • The 100 Year War
  • Black Death
  • English law
  • Magna Carta
  • Parliament

Rome Falls
  • Gradually Roman structure fails
  • Europe experiences a major decline from 500 to
    1000 A.D. (C.E.)
  • Trade declines (unsafe travel)
  • Towns empty (no government)
  • Education declines
  • Germanic tribes come to dominate Europe
  • Blended Greco-Roman, Christian, and German
  • New civilization called Medieval (Latin for
    Middle Ages)

No Central Government
  • When Rome fell much of Europe was left without
    any strong central government
  • Structure in society fell apart
  • Cities and towns emptied
  • Lots of violence
  • Infrastructure diminished
  • Education and classical learned virtually stopped

Germanic Kingdoms
  • Europe became a place of many different German
  • The powerful Germanic King, Charlemagne, builds
    new Empire and is proclaimed Emperor of the
    Romans by the pope
  • Angers the Eastern Byzantines and furthers
    divides East and West Europe
  • Preserved Roman traditions
  • The Germanic peoples would come to adopt

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Monarchs and Nobles
  • Monarchs (Kings and Queens) came to rule over
    Europe in place of Emperors and Governors
  • Underneath the Monarch were the Nobility
  • Held land (fiefs), special titles, and privileges
    in exchange for their loyalty to the crown
  • Owed the crown service for their land and rank
    usually military

Feudalism and Manorialism
  • New government (F.) and economic (M.) structure
    that would arise in the place of Roman Authority
  • Relied upon monarchs deriving their authority
    from lesser lords that swear loyalty to them
  • Lords are granted land and peasants to work it
  • Peasant work the lords manor and create a self
    sufficient community
  • The manor/lord pays taxes up to higher ranking
    lords, who in turn pay it up to the monarch

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Without the Power of the Church Included
With the Power of the Church Included
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Barter Economy
  • The Roman economy that included coined money fell
  • In a barter system people exchange goods and
    services in place of paying cash
  • Taxes were often paid in crops and labor
  • Coins still existed but became secondary to trade
    as many did not earn cash money, but rather lived
    on the lords land and was protected in exchange
    for their labor

Dominance of the Church
  • Overtime most of western Europe's peoples became
    Christians Christendom (kingdom of)
  • The Church became central to people lives
  • In order to get to heaven you needs to get
    sacraments only the church gave them
  • Most were uneducated and could not read the Bible
  • People had to pay a 10 tithe (church fee) to the
  • The Church became wealthy and was not only a
    spiritual authority but also influenced the
    non-church world

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An Agrarian Revolution
  • By the 800s, peasants used iron plows that were
    far superior to wood ones
  • They used horses that were faster than oxen
  • Peasants adopted crop rotation, increasing field
  • These new ways produced more food
  • With more food the population began to grow
  • From 1000 to 1300, the population of Europe
    almost tripled
  • Overcrowded manors led to the repopulation of
    cities and towns

The Crusades
  • Series of religious wars (1100s 1200s) that
    would change Europe and the Middle East
  • Pope called for Christians to take back the Holy
    Land (Jerusalem) from Muslims
  • Most were a failure, but returning Europeans
    brought back new ideas and goods
  • Europeans gained a larger world view and
    increased contact with the outside world prompted
    by trade

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The Hundred Years War
  • 1337-1453 - between England and France to control
    lands and trade
  • World changing new weapons were developed
  • Long Bow (goes right through armor)
  • Cannons or castles)
  • England lost most claims to lands in France

Hundred Years War
The Black Death
  • Outbreak of bubonic plague that decimated the
    population of Europe
  • Began in Asia and spread throughout Europe around
  • Killed at least 30, up to 60, of people
  • Transmitted by fleas that lived on rats
  • Spread rapidly on trade ships
  • Helped to end serfdom as the demand for labor led
    to higher wages rise of a middle class

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English Law
  • English Kings grow their power and centralize the
  • Domesday Book first efficient tax collection
    and census data gave the King good data on who
    had money and lands
  • Common law various local customs combined and
    written into a legal code applied to all
  • Jury System accused criminals have their fates
    decided by peers

Magna Carta
  • One of the most important legal documents
  • Oppressive taxes by King John III of England led
    his nobles to revolt against him
  • Nobles and freeman entered London and forced the
    king to sign the Magna Carta or Great Charter
  • Listed specific limitations of the kings power
    and guaranteed others to the Nobility
  • First time a king was forced to relinquish power
  • First in a series of British and America
    documents that developed written constitutions ,
    civil liberties, and a defined legal system

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  • Follows the Magna Cartas creation of a Great
    Council that advised the King on taxation
  • Parliament developed into a two-house legislature
    (law making)
  • House of Lords (Nobles and Bishops)
  • House of Commons (elected by the people)
  • Limited the Kings taxation powers
  • Over the centuries it took more and more
    authority from the King (peoples government)