The Medieval Period


Important definitions

  • Manorialism: the medieval system by which land was rented to tenants by The Lord of a manor, who also exercised legal authority and presided over a court for the area.
  • Feudalism: the dominant social system in medieval europe, in which the nobility service, and vassals were in turn tenants of the nobles, while the peasants (villeins or serfs) were obliged to live on their lord's land and give him homage, labor, and a share of the produce, notionally in exchange for military protection.
  • Humanism: belief that you can do anything you put your mind to.
  • Nationalism: pride in ones country

Growth of Cities

  • Florence- control of wealth
  • Medici family- Italy's first banking system, had power and control. Encouraged the arts
  • Advancements in nationalism and weapons including the cannon and longbow.
  • Religion- Pope and Catholic Church lost influence as a result of loss to Muslims in crusades.
  • Human potential- humanism. people moved from manors to cities. A need for merchants and artisans increased. Black Death causes high demand for more workers. Social status now based on wealth and ability.


It was their duty to learn how to fight and serve their liege lord. The code of chivalry dictated that a knight should be brave and fearless in battle but could also exhibit cultured knightly qualities showing them to be devout, loyal, courteous, and generous. Weapons included the sword, lance, battle axe,mace, and dagger. Their job centered around enhancing their knightly skills in the use of weapons, horsemanship, and medieval warfare.


  • Nationalism
  • Cannon
  • Longbow