The Middle Ages

By: Anna Bader and Anna Davidson

Feudalism and Manorialism

Feudalism was a dominant social system in Medieval Europe. Nobles controlled fiefs given to them by the King. In exchange the King got military protection. Part of this was manorialism, or the system in which serfs and peasants worked and lived on a nobles land. All manors consisted of a castle, a church, fields, huts, and shops.

Monarchs and Popes

Monarchs, or kings, were the sovereign head of state in the Middle Ages. They inherited the right to rule and were always male. Some important monarchs were King Henry the 4th (was excommunicated by the pope), William the conquer (established dooms day book and won the Norman invasion), and Charlemagne (the Holy Roman Empire grew out of his Empire). popes were the head of the Roman Catholic Church. They were above everyone else on the cast system, including the king. Some important Popes were, Pope Gregory, Pope Innocent, and Pope Urban.

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church was very powerful in the Middle Ages. The Pope was higher on the caste system than the King. The people on the manor relied on the church for many things. Some of which included education, medical help, childcare, weddings, and funerals. Also, if a person did something horribly wrong, the Pope could excommunicate them. When you are excommunicated, you are cast out and shunned by the church.


Knights were very important to the society of the Middle Ages. Knights were men who provided protection for the Lord of their Manor in exchange for land. They followed a strict code of rules called The Code of Chivalry. This said that a knight must be brave and fearless during battle, and must exhibit knightly qualities such as being devout, loyal, courageous, and generous. Becoming a knight was a very long process that stated with training as a page, but the job was very honorable.

Growth of cities

It seems as if nothing good could have come out of the Black Death, but something did. That was the growth of cities. Before the Black Death, most people lived on manors that belonged to a Lord. After the Black Death, many people began to live in cities. The Lords of Manors needed money, so they sold their Serfs freedom. Although many left, some stayed behind even if they could afford to leave because they had no where to go. To solve this problem, cities where built. The number of cities built grew rapidly until living on manors became rare.

The Spanish Inquisition

In the 15th century, on the Iberian Peninsula ( modern day Spain ) King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella decided to ''purify'' Spain. After getting rid of Muslim rule, the couple wanted their land completely free of heretics, or anyone who believes something other than the Catholic religion. Most people either left or ''converted.'' Although Muslims and Jews said that they converted, the king and queen were not so sure. To try to get the truth, they tortured the heretics using things like the rack or strapedo. From the people who died in the process the couple received their belongings and wealth. There was not an abrupt end to this time, it just gradually went away.

Advancements in the Middle Ages

Although the Middle Ages had a lot of plauge and war, many good things happened. Some of these were the advancements concerning court trials. Charlemagne established trail by jury after he disliked method of trial by ordeal. Also the Magna Carta and Habeas Corpus were esablished. Based off of the Chinese's invention of gunpowder, advancements in weaponry such as cannons were made. For every day use the hourglass was created. All of these advancement help shape our world and government today.