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3 field system

system of agricultural cultivation by 9th century in western Europe; included 1/3 in spring grains, and 1/3 fallow


Charles the Great; Carolingian monarch who established a substantial empire in France and Germany c.800

Holy Roman Emperors

Emperors in northern Italy and Germany following split of Charlemagne's empire; claimed title of emperor c.10th century; failed to develop centralized monarchy in Germany

William the Conqueror

invaded England from Normandy in 1066; extended tight feudal system to England; established administrative system based on sheriffs; established centralized monarchy (Duke of Normandy)

Magna Carta

great charter issued by King John of England in 1215; confirmed feudal rights against monarchial claims; represented principle of mutual limits and obligations between rulers and feudal aristocracy

King John

(England)- youngest son of Henry II; King of England from 1199 to 1216; succeeded to the throne on the death of his brother Richard I. Forced to sign the Magna Carta


body representing privileged groups; institutionalized feudal principle that rulers should consult with their vassals; found in England, Spain, Germany and France


series of military adventures initially launched by western Christians to free Holy Land from Muslims; temporarily succeeded in capturing Jerusalem & establishing Christian kingdoms; later used for other purposes such as commercial wars & extermination of heresy

Pope Urban II

called first crusade in 1095; appealed to Christians to mount military assualt to free the Holy Land from the Muslims


practice of state appointment of bishops; Pope Gregory VII attempted to ban the practice of lay investiture, leading to war with Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV

Thomas Aquinas

creator of one of the great synthesis of medieval learning; taught at University of Paris; author of several Summas; believed that through reason it was possible to know much about natural order, moral law, & nature of God

Gothic Architecture

an architectural style developed during the Middle Ages in western Europe; featured pointed arches and flying buttresses as external supports on main walls


sworn associations of people in the same business or trade in a single city; stressed security and mutual control; limited membership, regulated apprenticeship, guaranteed good workmanship; often established franchise within cities

Hundred years' war

conflict between England & France from 1337 to 1453; fought over lands Englad possessed in France & feudal rights versus the emerging claims of national states

Joan of Arc

French heroine & military leader inspired by religious visions to organize French resistance to the English; successful, but killed (burned) by English for heresy

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