Middle Ages

By: Sam T.

Middle Ages

The Middle Ages was a very interesting period. Crusades, the Black Death, growth of cities, and the Spanish Inquisition took place during this time.


The Black Death

The Black Death, also known as the bubonic plague, was a time of many deaths and many burnings. This plague killed many people and killed almost a third of Europe's population. It was caused by fleas from overseas that rats carried onto trade ships. The fleas jumped off the infected rats onto the people that were trading with the ones from overseas. These infected people then infected others by spreading the fleas that caused the Black Death.

The Crusades and Feudalism/Manorialism

The Crusades was also known as the "Holy Wars". It lasted about a hundred years. They lasted about three years a piece. There was a total There was about a total of five Crusades: The First Crusade, The Second Crusade, The Third Crusade, The Fourth crusade, and the Children's Crusade( there were more than five crusades, but after the fourth crusade, there was no point or interest in the Crusades anymore. Feudalism is a grouping legal and military customs, prevalent in medieval Europe, which flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, or any similar grouping of legal and military customs. It was derived from the Latin word "feodum" or "feudum"(fief). A fief was a vassal's source of income, which was granted to him by his lord.

Popes and Kings

The pope was above the king and everyone else in the caste system. The pope was the head of the Roman Catholic Church. They were seen as spiritual leaders. They became political leaders. In the middle ages, kings had limitless power. However, this power is challenged by the Magna Carta. A few kings of the Middle Ages include William the Conquerer, King Henry I, King Henry II, and King Richard.


The duty of a Middle Ages knight was to learn how to fight and serve their liege lord according to the Code of Chivalry. The Code of Chivalry dictated that a knight should be brave and fearless in battle but also exhibit cultured knightly qualities showing themselves to be devout, loyal, courteous and generous. Weapon practices included enhancing skills in the battle axe, the two-handed sword, the dagger, the mace, and the lance. They were expected to guard the castle and liege lord in Middle Ages warfare.

Growth of the cities/ advancements

The Medici family came. They were Italian, they made the first banking systems, and they had a lot of power and control. They encouraged arts, and they lived in Florence, Italy. With the growth of the cities, religion was toned down a little bit. The human potential changed. They moved from manors to cities, and there was more need for merchants, demants for people, and artisans. The advancements in this time period include cannons, nationalism-pride in one's country, and the long bow.

Spanish Inquisition

The Spanish Inquisition was started by the married couple, Queen Isabella of France, and King Ferdinand of Aragon. The Spanish Inquisition was started to purify Spain. All Non-Catholics were sentenced to death if they did not leave Spain. Many of the non-Catholics "converted" to Catholics. However, the Queen and King did not trust these "converts", so they "persuaded" all Heretics with torture devices. Two of the torture devices were the Strappado (as shown above in the previous pictures) and the Rack. The Rack was a torture device where your arms and legs were tied to it, and then the person in control of the Rack would spin a handle. This handle made the Rack stretch, causing your body to stretch as well. This normally ended in death, confessing, or your arms and legs being torn from your body.