The Middle Ages

By: Camila Rivas

The Importance of the Church

The church in the middle ages was the most influential institution in Medieval Europe. Everybody went to church, and in return the church provided the people that attended the church with food, education, childcare, etc. The church held many religious and personal ceremonies. Such as Communions, Baptism, weddings, funerals, etc. The church was always there to try to help you. Many people had piety, a level of dedication to the church. If you did anything considered bad to the church, then you would get excommunicated, when you are asked to leave the church.


The Importance of the Pope

The pope was the head of the Roman Catholic church. They were highly influential to the church and were very powerful. The pope was seen as spiritual leaders, and later were included as political leaders. The pope had the decision to excommunicate someone if they were acting against the church.

Kings

During the middle ages kings inherited the throne from their father. They were the rulers that maintained being kings through alliances and warfare. One example of a medieval king was Henry IV. He ruled in the 11th century. He was mad at Pope Gregory VII, because Pope Gregory VII disproved of the bishop chosen by Henry IV. Henry IV wanted to remove Pope Gregory VII. Gregory VII excommunicated Henry IV had to beg for forgiveness to Gregory VII.


Another example is of Charlemagne. Charlemagne was the first emperor in western Europe after the empire crashed. He was the king of Franks. He ruled what is now France and Germany. He was the ruler who brought popes and kings to collaborate together. Charlemagne died at 77.

Knights

A knight was a man who served his lord. They wore metal armor and a metal helmet. They had swords to fight with and sometimes a horse to ride into battle. Knights protected their lord, king, etc. Knights had to follow a code of Chivalry; a moral code of conduct. This included; bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women.

Advancements

Even during this dark and dangerous era there were advancements in the middle ages. One advancement was canons. Another advancement was the long bow. The long bow is a large bow drawn by hand and shooting a long feathered arrow. There were many more advancements in the middle ages.

Growth of Cities

The primary reason for the growth of cities was an increase in trade. Since there were many advancements, everybody wanted new items. So that's why there was a big boom in trade. Since some cities were main trading cities, many people moved to these cities. This big rise of cities created the middle class of the Middle Ages.

The Crusades

The crusades were about 10 years total, there were three crusades not including the children's crusade. The cause of the crusades was because the Muslims stopped Christians from visiting the holy land, Jerusalem. So the Christians fought in the crusades with the Muslims to take the holy land back. Pope Urban II had this idea and sent feudal lords, knights, and peasants. To fight. The first crusade was with the peasant army. They were untrained and lacked equipment. Then the knights fight and regain Jerusalem. In the second crusade the Muslims took Jerusalem back because Saladin( The Muslim leader) leads them to victory. During the third crusade, King Richard convinced Muslims to allow Christians to visit the holy land. This lasts to 1200s. The children's crusade had 30,000 soldiers under 14 years old. They never made it to Jerusalem.

The Spanish Inquisition

The Spanish Inquisition was when king Ferdinand and queen Isabella decided to purify Spain in 1478. The way to purify Spain was to get rid of all the people that practice a different religion other than Christianity. These people were called heretics. King Ferdinand and queen Isabella said that either people could covert to the Catholic religion or they had to leave Spain. Most people converted and some people left. King Ferdinand and queen Isabella were curious about the people that converted, they thought the people only converted so they could stay in Spain. So the king and queen decided to torture people into confessing that they converted only to be in Spain. They used many torture devices such as the rack; the heretic would be attached to a wooden frame and the frame would spin so the heretic's body would stretch. The Spanish Inquisition officially ended in 1834.

The Black Death

The black Death was an epidemic that killed millions of people during the middle ages. It was also know as the Bubonic plague. It originated from from central and east Asia. When traders from Asia came to Europe, their ships had rats and fleas that brought the Black Death. So, when fleas bit people, they would transfer the Black Death to the person. Some symptoms of the Black Death were high fevers, buboes, vomiting blood, and flesh dying which causes the skin to turn black. To cure this, "doctors" used leeches to suck out all the bad blood. They also cut skin to let all of the bad blood out. Another thing they would use would be herbs to try to heal this disease. This disease killed one-third of the European population. This was about 25 million people.