Middle Ages

Laurie Colvett


Feudalism was the dominant social system in Europe during the Middle Ages. In feudalism, the King would give his knights and nobles land in exchange for protection and military service. These sections of land, called manors or fiefs, consisted of a manor house, farms, churches, at least one village, and other features.

Black Death

The Black Death was a deadly plague that swept through Europe between 1347 and 1351. It was spread to Europe from Asia by trade ships containing infected rats, who got it from their fleas. It killed so many people so quickly that burials became too slow to dispose of all the bodies. Almost one third of the population was wiped out.

The doctors of the time had no idea what this disease was or how to stop it. All they knew were "potions" and bloodletting and similar strange methods that did not work. These doctors were called "Quacks" for their curved, beak-like masks.


A monarchy is when the government has one sole ruler at the head, such as a king, queen, or emperor. Medieval Europe was a monarchy, and had many important or well known rulers. One of these rulers was Henry IV. He is important because he had a rivalry with the pope. He was then excommunicated and forced to apologize.

Charlemagne was another very important ruler. He was the emperor of most of Europe.Charlemagne was a military leader as well as a political leader, and had several successful conquests. There are, of course, many other notable rulers from this time period.

Growth of Cities

Near the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance, European cities began to grow. Part of this growth was the Medici family of Florence, Italy. This family created the first banks, and therefore had wealth and power. Another thing that contributed to the growth of cities was the Black Death. However surprising that may seem, The Black Death influenced this a lot. When many peasants and workers were killed, their work became in higher demand. They then began to demand wages, and fled to the cities once they had money.

Spanish Inquisition

King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella attempted to "purify" Spain around 1497. They did this by torturing and killing all heretics, and even suspected heretics. They hoped by doing this, Spain would be cleansed from all non-believers. During this time, even if you were a Catholic, you could be taken in for torture and questioning. Some devices used for torture were: the rack, Strappado, and even just starvation.