Medieval Times

The history of medieval Europe.


In medieval times, feudalism was the way of life. A King owned a piece of land and would give pieces the land, fiefs, to nobles and lords. They were now vassals to the King. In return for land, the nobles' knights protected the King. The serfs were the workers on the field. They were provided with a house, money, and food in return for their work. This was all called the manor system. On the manor, the king's castle, fields, serf's homes, and the Church were all located there.


Knights were mounted soldiers that rode horses. They were provided with homes and food for protecting the King. They also had an act in chivalry. When the crossbow was developed, knights were being killed by the arrows coming through their armor. The crossbow didn't take a lot of accuracy or skill so they were easy to use. Castles also were built with arches and curves to help hide from the enemy. If they got in, the enemy would be hit with smoldering water and rock.

The Catholic Church

People's lives revolved around the Church. This is why this time period is known as the Age Of Faith. The Pope was the head, and under him was the clergy including the bishops, priests, monks, and nuns. The Church also had many internal problems. People were becoming unable to read prayers. The clergy was more concerned with money instead of prayers, and the clergy was married with families leading to the questioning of morals. External problems of the Church were the plague, the crusades, and the Great Schism. The Plague killed 50 million in all. The Crusades hurt the Pope's power. The Great Schism is the name of the split in Church and this leads to three popes running the Holy Roman Church. The Church was built with arches and had a Gothic design with the stained glass windows.

The Crusades

Pope Urban II called a holy war to unite Europe and he declares war on the Muslim Turks. The goal was to get Jerusalem and the Hold Lands back. European Christian knights traveled across Europe to Israel and Palestine; also known as the Hold Lands. People went for money, adventure, and for their religion. They figured that if them died, the Pope would send them to Heaven and if you made it back all jail time and debts would be forgiven. All in all, the Byzantine Empire weakens, the Pope's power declines and trade increases between Europe and the Middle East.

The Magna Carta

Henry II"s son, King John, was a very cruel and selfish leader. His nobles finally revolted against him and forced him to sign the Magna Carta. This document guaranteed certain basic political rights. The nobles wanted to safeguard their own feudal rights and limit the king's powers. The Magna Carta provides a check on royal power for the people.

The Hundred Years' War

The Hundred Years' War was between England and France. The Capetian King died without a heir to the throne. King Edward III takes the throne due to him having some French blood in him. The French win the war. France lost lives, property, and money. France also raised power and prestige of the French Monarch and they had nationalism towards France. England had internal turmoil but they strengthened the English parliament.

Other Sources

  • "The Middle Ages | Feudalism." The Middle Ages | Feudalism. Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio Inc., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2014.

  • "The Middle Ages: Feudal Life." The Middle Ages: Feudal Life. Annenberg Foundation, n.d. Web. 5 Feb. 2014.

  • "THE MIDDLE AGES: THE MEDIEVAL KNIGHT." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2014.

  • McDougal, Littell. "The Formation of Western Europe." McDougal Littell World history: patterns of interaction.. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2003. 376-400. Print.

  • McDougal, Littell. "European Middle Ages." McDougal Littell World history: patterns of interaction.. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2003. 350-376. Print.