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The Development of Feudalism in Western Europe
Terms in this set (41)
What is loyalty?
Is always being there for you.
Describe a situation in which someone's loyalty was very important.
When there was a fire, my friend let our family stay at her house for awhile until the fire got put out.
One institution that survived the fall of Rome was the Christian Church. Many German rulers and their subjects converted to Christianity. These conversions helped to spread Christianity throughout Europe. As you recall from Chapter 2, a group of Germanic people called the Franks established one of the more powerful
kingdoms in Europe during the Middle Ages. The Franks and their powerful leaders played a significant role in strengthening Christianity.
After ruling the Franks for more than 40 years,
Charlemagne, called the "King Father of
Europe," has passed away. A six-foot-four-inch
giant, he loved having scholarly works read to
him and made his court a center of culture.
Most importantly, he unified most Christian
lands of Europe into a single empire. Crowned
as the Holy Roman emperor in 800 C.E. by
Pope Leo III, this great king will be sorely
missed. Charlemagne unified nearly all the Christian lands of Europe into a single empire. Pope Leo III helped him by giving him the blessing of the church (the church was a central part of society) and by crowning him Holy Roman emperor in 800 C.E. The most important leader of the Franks was Charlemagne (SHAR-luh-main), which means "Charles the Great." This impressive king ruled for over 40 years, from 768 to 814. Writings from that period say that he was six feet four inches tall—extremely tall for his time—and "always stately and dignified." Legend has it that he read very little and couldn't write, yet he loved to have scholarly works read to him. He encouraged education and scholarship, making his court a center of culture. Most important, he unified nearly all the Christian lands of Europe into a single empire. One of the poets at his court called him the "King Father of Europe."
Charlemagne built his empire with the help of a pope—Leo III, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. For Charlemagne, the blessing of the Church sent the message, "God is on my side." For his part, Leo needed the support of someone with an army. In return for Charlemagne's help, the pope crowned him Holy Roman emperor in 800 C.E.
Charlemagne's empire survived many attacks. After his death in 814, however, it quickly fell apart. The weak rulers who followed him could not defend the empire against new waves of invasions. Still, these kings helped prepare the way for the system of feudalism by following Charlemagne's example of rewarding knights with land and privileges in return for military service.
What was Charlemagne most remembered for?
Unifying nearly all of the Christian lands of Europe.
Create an obituary for Charlemagne.
Today we moan the death of our king who ruled over 40 years. Who was the 1st holy Roman empire crowned by the Pope. The key leader and is 6ft and 4in. He loved education and was read books.
The economic and political system of medieval Europe in which people exchanged loyalty and labor for a lord's protection. People were bound to one another by promises of loyalty. The land belonged to the monarch, and then divided the land he did not want to lords. The lords promised to assist him in times of war, and the lords and knights below the lord agreed to assist him. The peasants made food and did other services for the kingdom and rented land in exchange for protection from the lord.
Land grants that a king gave to his most important lords (vassals).
Peasants who were not free to leave the lord's land without permission and were the bottom of the system. Serfs were bound to the manor
and couldn't leave without permission.
Knights lived by a this strong code of behavior. Knights were expected to be loyal to the Church and to their lord, to be just and fair, and to protect the helpless. They performed acts of gallantry, or respect paid to women. From these acts, we get the modern idea of chivalry as traditional forms of courtesy and kindness toward women.
How did Charlemagne's relationship with the catholic Church benefit both the emperor and the pope?
Pope Leo III helped Charlemagne by giving
him the blessing of the Church (the Church
was a central part of society) and by crowning
him Holy Roman emperor in 800 C.E.
In return, Leo gained the support of a strong
leader with an army.
What were the greatest challenges people in Europe faced after the death of Charlemagne in 814?
The rulers who came to power after
Charlemagne failed to defend the empire. In
addition, Europe was threatened by Muslims,
Magyars, and Vikings in the 9th and 10th centuries. Not a clear system. Many threats from outside. The empire fell because it was open to threats.
What kinds of work did peasants do on the manor?
Most peasants worked at raising crops and
tending livestock, and care for children. Some worked as carpenters, shoemakers, and smiths. Peasants paid taxes to lords. They provided food for the manor. Their daily lives revolved around work.
What was the daily lives of peasants?
The daily lives of peasants revolved around work. They had to pay numerous taxes. They were required to grind their grain at the lord's mill and the miller kept grain for the lord and for himself. They lived in small homes with few
possessions. Peasants known as serfs worked
the land for nobles and performed other
What did the monarchs believe?
Monarchs believed in the "divine right of
kings," which meant that God gave them the
right to rule.
Why is William the Conqueror considered an important monarch?
William defeated his cousin Harold and established a line of Norman kings in England,
bringing feudalism with him. Feudalism
brought stability and order to England. Duke of Normandy.
What responsibilities did lords have on a manor?
Lords were responsible for managing and
defending their manors and acting as judges.
They fought for their own lords in times of
war, and supplied soldiers. They also appointed
What was the role of noblewomen on the manor?
Noblewomen were responsible for raising and
training their children and sometimes the children of other noble families. They were also
responsible for overseeing their large households.
How were the houses built?
Houses should be stone or wood, surrounded
by gardens and outbuildings like stables.
Students may include high walls or a moat as
How did a boy train for knighthood?
1st stage: A boy started training for knighthood by becoming a page or sargent, where he learned skills, such as horseback riding and singing. e: serves a squire; learns religion, manners, music, and dance. 2nd stage: After seven years he leaves home to stay at a lord's house, he became a squire and learned how to fight as a warrior. serves and attends his lord; takes care of armour and weapons 3rd stage: A deserving squire was made a knight in his early 20s at a special ceremony. Knighted by king; follows the Code of Chivalry
What were knights? What responsibilities did they have in the feudal system?
Knights were the mounted soldiers in the feudal system and were expected to be loyal to their Church and lord, to be fair, and to protect the helpless. Many of these warriors provided military service to nobles in return for a piece of their land. They had to protect their people and in return, they would get supplies, land, and food.
Suppose you were a knight. Write a code of chivalry for yourself.
I promise to be loyal to the Church and my lord. I will be just and fair and protect the helpless. When possible, I will perform acts of gallantry and I will show respect to women.
What was the fall of Rome 476?
The fall of the Roman Empire in 476 C.E. marks the beginning of the period in Europe known as the Middle Ages. In this chapter, you will learn about a political and economic system that developed during the Middle Ages.
What was the role of king?
This man sat atop feudal society and ruled over large areas of land.
Church Officials and Nobles
These people owned land and thus held much power and wealth.
Feudalism and relationship between social classes
Feudal society was highly structured.
The king ruled at the top of society. Next came wealthy landowners and high-ranking church members. Serving below them were the knights. At the bottom of society were the peasants. Most peasants were serfs. Serfs were people who lived and worked on the land belonging to a lord or a vassal. In return, the nobles granted them shelter and protection. Feudalism created a new political structure in Europe. Europe became home to many small kingdoms and estates ruled by kings and powerful nobles.
In the next lesson, you will learn more about everyday life in Europe during the feudal age.
What role did vassals play in the structure of feudalism?
Nobles and vassals helped shape feudalism because feudalism was based off their relationships. Knights were often vassals who fought on the behalf of the lords in return for land. Before a lord could grant land (a fief) to someone, he had to make that person a vassal.
What were common features of feudal societies?
An overwhelmingly agrarian economy, with limited money exchange, necessitating the dispersion of political authority and the substitution of arrangements involving economic support from local resources. The strength of the Church as an ally and counterpart to the civil-military structure, supported by its right to a share (tithe) of society's output as well as substantial landholdings, and endowed with specific authority and responsibility for moral and material welfare. The existence of structures and phenomena not of themselves explicitly feudal (urban and village organizations, royal executive power, free peasant holdings, financial and commercial activity) but each incorporated into the whole.
Where do monarchs get their power?
They believed in the divine right of kings, meaning that God gave them the right to rule the people. Much work was needed to keep the balance of power in order, and it was difficult to keep the needed vassals to provide an army and funds without losing much power. They had to keep control over the nobles and other vassals in order to protect the balance of order.
Why and how did feudalism develop in western Europe?
The people of western Europe needed a source of protection from many invading threats with order. As a result, they invented a system in which people of higher classes provided protection for lower classes in return for their loyalty to them. This allowed people to be safe and happy with cooperation between classes.
What two challenges did people face after the collapse of the Roman Empire?
They had to work very hard just to survive and feed their families, and protection was a constant concern, with invasion easily possible.
How did Clovis and Charlemagne help spread Christianity?
Clovis: led Franks to Christianity by marrying a Christian woman and baptizing in Roman Catholic Church. Many of his followers also became Christian. Charlemagne: built empire with help of Church and Pope, and the message of God's help from the church along with him becoming Holy Roman Emperor made many subjects change to Christianity.
What social classes existed within the feudal system?
Monarch, lords, knights, and peasants.
What were the defining characteristics of each class?
Monarch: Top class, ruled their kingdom, divided the land and governed their people. Lords: Had castles and manors, governed their area and set laws, and raised army. Knights: Fought wars for their lord and king and competed in many tournaments. Peasants: Grew food for the people, lowest class, provided many services.
Describe the responsibilities of monarchs, lords, knights, and peasants.
Monarchs: Kept order and provided protection for their vassals in return for their loyalty. Lords: Managed and defended land, appointed officials to supervise the peasants and make sure they did their duties, were judges, and fought for people of higher rank or supplied an army. Knights: Fought for their lord, practiced chivalry, had acts of gallantry, and were loyal to their church and lord. Peasants: Free peasants paid rent on the land they worked, and serfs paid rent in the form of labor. They grew food and ground grain, paid taxes like yearly head money, tallage (a tax that could be implemented at any time if the lord needed money) and merchet (marriage tax).
Security: Under feudalism, was Europe protected from outside threats?
B - They are surrounded by a wall and had knights protecting them. The knight were legally board to land and loyalty. But with all of the people could overthrow the king. The knights could backstep.
Economic Stability: Did feudalism allow for the production and trade
of essential goods?
D- You were not allowed to trade goods with other places. They produced enough goods but they were not allowed to trade with other manors.
Prosperity: Did feudalism foster wealth and well-being?
D - No because you can never move up in status. If you are born a peasant, you can never move up to be a lord or knight.
Opportunity: Under feudalism, were
people able to better their circumstances through
hard work or good fortune?
F - No. You stayed the same class. You stayed the class you were born into. If you were a peasant, you stayed a peasant.
Why did feudalism develop after the fall of the Roman Empire?
When the Western Roman Empire fell in 476 C.E., a state of chaos encompassed Western Europe for many centuries. Essentially, the people of Western Europe needed some form of a political system to defend themselves. Thus, feudalism developed.
Why did Rome collapse?
1) Problems in the Late Empire - There was no single reason for the end of the Roman Empire.
Instead, historians point to a number of problems that combined to bring about its fall. 2) Political Instability - Rome never solved the problem of how to peacefully transfer political power to a new leader. When an emperor died, ambitious rivals with independent armies often fought each other for control of the empire.
3) Economic and Social Problems - Besides
political instability, the empire suffered from economic and social problems. To finance Rome's huge armies, its citizens had to pay heavy taxes. These taxes weakened the economy and drove many people into
poverty. Trade also suffered.
4) Weakening Frontiers- A final problem was the weakening of the empire's frontiers. The huge size of the empire made it hard to defend.
It sometimes took weeks for leaders in Rome to communicate with generals. By the 300s
C.E., Germanic tribes were pressing hard on the western borders of the empire. Many of these peoples went on to settle inside the empire and were recruited into the army. But often these soldiers had little loyalty to Rome.
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