History Chapter 7: Sections 2, 3, and 4


Terms in this set (...)

Feudalism/Feudal Contract
1. Because of invasions, kings and emperors were too weak to maintain law and order so people needed protection for themselves, their homes, and their lands. In response to this basic need for protection, a decentralized political and economic structure evolved, known as feudalism
2. Feudalism was a loosely organized system of rule in which powerful local lords divided their landholdings among lesser lords. In exchange, these lesser lords, or vassals, pledged service and loyalty to the greater lord. The political and economic relationship between lords and vassals was based on the exchange of land for loyalty and military service. It was established by custom and tradition and by an exchange of pledges known as the feudal contract.
3. Under this system, a powerful lord granted his vassal a fief, or estate. As part of this agreement, the lord agreed to protect his vassal. In return, the vassal promised their loyalty to his lord. He also agreed to provide The Lord with 40 days of military service each year, certain money payments, and advice
1. Under the feudal contract, a powerful lord granted his vassal a fief, or estate
2. Fiefs ranged from a few acres to hundreds of square miles
3. In addition to the land itself, the fief included peasants to work the land, as well as any towns or buildings on it. The more powerful lords held the largest fiefs
1. Many nobles began training in boyhood for a future occupation as a knight, or mounted warrior
2. At the age of seven, a boy slated to become a knight was sent away to the castle of his father's lord. There, he learned to ride and fight and how to keep his amour and weapons in good condition. Training was difficult and discipline was strict so the show of any laziness received punishment. After being dubbed a knight in a public ceremony, knights usually fought on horseback using swords, axes, and lances, which were long poles. Other soldiers fought on foot using daggers, spears, crossbows, and longbows.
3. In addition to actual warfare, knights engaged in mock battles called tournaments
1. In the later Middle Ages, knights adopted a code of conduct called chivalry.
2. Chivalry required knights to be brave, loyal, and true to their word. In warfare they had to fight fairly. For example, a knight agreed not to attack another knight before the opponent had a chance to put on his armor
3. Warriors also had to treat a captured knight well or even release him if he promised to pay his ransom. Chivalry had limits, though. Its elaborate rules applied to nobles only, not to commoners
1. Chivalry also dictated that knights protect the weak and that included both peasants and noblewomen. In theory, if not always in practice, chivalry placed women on a pedestal
2. Troubadours, or wandering musicians, sang about the brave deeds of knights and their devotion to their lady loves.
3. Their songs became the basis for epic stories and poems. Few real knights could live up to the ideals of chivalry, but they did provide a standard against which a knight's behavior could be measured
1. The heart of the feudal economy was the manor, or lord's estate.
2. Most manors included one or more villages and the surrounding lands
3. Peasants, who made up the majority of the population in medieval society, lived and worked on the manor
1. Most peasants on the manor were serfs, bound to the land
2. Serfs were not slaves who could be bought and sold. Still, they were not free.
3. They could not leave the manor without the lord's permission. If the manor was granted to a new lord, the serfs went along with it
Papal supremacy
1. During the Middle Ages, the pope was the spiritual leader of the Western Christian Church, based in Rome. Declaring themselves representatives of God on earth, medieval popes eventually claimed papal supremacy, or authority over all secular rulers, including kings and emperors
2. The pope headed an army of Church men who supervised church activities. High clergy, such as bishops and archbishops, were usually nobles. Like other feudal lords, they had their own territories and armies
3. The pope himself held vast lands in central Italy, later called the Papal States. Some monasteries also held large tracts of land, which gave them considerable economic and political power
Canon law
1. The Church developed its own body of laws, known as canon law, as well as its own courts.
2. Canon law, based on religious teachings, governed many aspects of life, including wills, marriages, and morals
3. Anyone who disobeyed Church law faced a range of penalties. The most severe and terrifying was excommunication
1. Anyone who disobeyed Church law faced a range of penalties. The most severe and terrifying was excommunication
2. Those who were excommunicated could not receive the sacraments or a Christian burial
3. Not receiving the sacraments or not having a Christian burial would condemn them to hell for eternity
1. A powerful noble who opposed the Church could face the interdict
2. It was an order excluding an entire town, region, or kingdom from receiving most sacraments and Christian burial
3. Even the strongest ruler gave in rather than to face the interdict, which usually caused revolts by the common people
Pope Gregory VII
1. In 1073, Gregory VII, a former monk, became pope and began another push for reform. He wanted to limit sceular influence on the Church
2. Gregory insisted that the Church alone choose Church officials such as bishops. That policy eventually sparked a bitter battle of wills with the German emperor
3. Gregory also outlawed marriage for priests and prohibited simony, the selling of church offices
1. During his reign, Pope Gregory VII insisted that the Church alone choose Church officials such as bishops. 2. That policy eventually sparked a bitter battle of wills with the German emperor
2. Gregory also outlawed marriage for priests and prohibited simony
3. Simony was the selling of church offices
1. Friars, monks who did not live in isolated monasteries, took a different approach to reform
2. They traveled around Europe's growing towns, preaching to the poor. The first order of friars, the Franciscans, was founded by a wealthy Italian now known by Christians as St. Francis of Assisi.
3. Giving up his comfortable life, he preached the Gospels and taught by his own example of good works. Dominic, a Spanish priest, founded the Dominican order of friars
1. During the early Middle Ages, some men and women withdrew from worldly life to the monastic life
2. They became monks and nuns
3. Behind the walls of monasteries and convents, they devoted their entire lives to spiritual goals
St. Benedict
1. About 530, a monk named Benedict organized the monastery of Monte Cassino in central Italy.
2. He created rules to regulate monastic life. In time, the Benedictine Rule was used by monasteries and convents across Europe
3. Under the Benedictine Rule, monks and nuns took three vows- obedience, poverty, and chastity
1. In the early 900s, Abbot Berno set out to reform his monastery of Cluny in eastern France.
2. first, he revived the Benedictine Rule of obedience, poverty and chastity. Then, he refused to allow nobles or bishops to interfere in monastery affairs.
3. Instead, Cluny was placed under the direct protection of the pope. over the next 200 years, many monasteries and convents copied these reforms
1. To protect their interests, the merchants who set up a new town asked the local lord, or the king himself, for a charter
2. This written document set out the rights and privileges of the town. In return, merchants paid the lord of the king a large sum of money, a yearly fee, or both. Most charters also had a clause, popular with runaway serfs, that declared that anyone who lived in the town for one year and one day was free
3. Meanwhile, as Europe's population grew, manors became overcrowded and lords often allowed peasants to buy their freedoms and move to towns
1. As trade revived, the use of money increased.
2. In time, the need for capital, or money for investment, stimulated the growth of banking houses
3. Merchants also extended credit to one another. That is, they arranged to delay payment for goods for a certain set time
1. To meet the needs of the changing economy, Europeans developed new ways of doing business
2. Groups of merchants joined together in partnerships. They pooled their funds to finance a large-scale venture that would have been too costly for any individual trader
3. This practice made capital more easily available. It also reduced the risk for any one partner because no one had to invest all his or her capital in the company
Tenant farmers
1. As a result of feudal lords needing money to buy fine goods, many peasants began selling farm products to townspeople and paying rent to their lord in cash rather than in labor.
2. By 1300, most peasants in Western Europe were either tenant farmers, who paid rent for their land, or hired farm laborers
3. Such new business practices were part of a commercial revolution that transformed the medieval economy
Middle class
1. By the year 1000, merchants, traders, and artisans formed a new social class.
2. In status, the class ranked between nobles and peasants, so it was called the middle class. To nobles, towns were a disruptive influence beyond their control
3. To the clergy, the profits that merchants and bankers made from usury, or lending money at interest, were immoral
1. In medieval towns, the middle class gained economic and political power. First, merchants and artisans formed associations known as guilds
2. Merchant guilds appeared first. They dominated town life, passing laws and levying taxes. They also decided whether to spend funds to pave the streets with cobblestones or make other town improvements
3. Artisans organized craft guilds and guild members cooperated to protect their own economic interests
1. Becoming a guild member took many years of hard work. At the age of seven or eight, a child might become an apprentice, or trainee, to a guild master.
2. The apprentice usually spent seven years learning the trade. The guild master paid no wages, but was required to give the apprentice food and housing
3. Few apprentices ever became guild masters unless they were related to one
Three-Field System
1. Peasants adopted a new way of rotating crops: the three-field system
2. They planted one field with grain; a second with legumes, such as peas and beans; and the third they left unplanted. These legumes restored fertility to the soil and added protein to the peasant's diet. the new method left only one third of the land unplanted, rather than half.
3. All of these improvements allowed farmers to produce more food. With more food available, the population began to grow. Between about 1000 and 1300, the population of Europe almost tripled
Bill of Exchange
1. Europeans adopted some practices from the Muslim merchants with whom they traded. These traders had developed methods of using credit rather than cash in their business .
2. European versions included letters of credit and bills of exchange. For example, a merchant would deposit money with a banker in his home city. The banker would issue a bill of exchange, which the merchant could exchange for cash in a distant city.
3. The merchant could thus travel without carrying gold coins, which were easily stolen