Explore Medieval Europe

By: Taylor Regenwether, Natalie Perkins, Kayli Whitcanack

Catholic Church

Role of The Catholic Church

  • Everyone was required to pay taxes to the state
  • Clergy was not required to pay taxes to the state
  • Most people worshiped together at the church
  • Canon law & church law were used in courts
  • If anyone were to disobey the canon law, they were to be excommunicated
  • On church lands, the peasants worked for free
  • Clergy, Bishops, & Priests were under the authority of THE POPE
  • Bishops supervised the priests
  • Priests and some other clergy administered religious ceremonies that paved the way for achieving salvation, called sacraments
  • Priests were the lowest ranking members of the church
  • The everyday lives of Christians were based on following the path to salvation (everlasting life in heaven)

Problems facing The Catholic Church

  • The kinds appointed the church bishops, most people believed only the church should have control over appointing bishops
  • Bishops sold positions in the church (A.K.A simony)
  • Many village priests married and had families= against church laws
  • Popes had questionable morals
  • Many bishops and abbots put their position as a feudal lord ahead of their job as a spiritual leader


  • Kings & the church saw the crusade wars as an opportunity to throw out quarrelsome knights who had threatened the peace of church property & he kingdoms
  • Each crusade caused many deaths to christians while only some were successful and some weren't
  • Reason of crusades was to gain control of the Holy Land
  • Took place over the course of 300 years
  • To whom did not go on the crusades was given many new opportunities to manage any affairs on the estates or to operate businesses
  • After the attempted attacks the Muslims became bitter
  • Many people lost faith in the pope which causes loss for his power
  • Europe and Southwest Asia trade was expanded


  • Based on rights & obligations, a lord who owned land was a fief, person receiving fief was a vassal
  • Feudal pyramid, king, church official/noble, knights, then peasants/serfs

Manor System

  • Rested on set of rights and obligation with lords and serfs
  • Lord gave serfs farmland and housing, serfs gave in return tended lands and worked with animals
  • Manor house- house for lord and his family and servants
  • Village church- where they had meetings and religious services
  • Peasant cottages- Shelter for serfs or peasants
  • Lords land wehre serfs and peasants worked was called Lord's Demesne


  • Created a saddle for knights and a stirrup to help horses go faster allowed them to carry heavy weapons
  • Trebuchet otherwise known as catapult is like a slingshot or launching items at enemy
  • Mantlet to shield themselves from longbows and other items


Role of Knights

  • chivalry

  • protect lord’s land

  • protect weak/ poor

Decline of Knights

  • crossbow and arbalest (very powerful crossbow) A knight with a lot of training could be brought down by someone with little training and a arbalest.

  • gunpowder. No armor stood a chance against a bullet.


  • Civil war

  • Execution of Charles the 1st

  • Passage of bill of rights



  • 1337-1453

  • Capetian (French) dies without a successor; King Edward 3 (England) claims the throne- grandson of Philip the 4

  • England wins


  • France

...........cost lives, property, money,

...........raised power and prestige

  • England

...........internal turmoil

...........strengthen English parliament

  • Both