Agriculture and the Estate System

by: Shayrin Oad and Devika Godbole

The Agriculture of High Middle Europe

Agriculture and Crops

  • Before the year 1000, Europeans mostly ate grains
  • Becase of population pressures, more land was taken over and so agriculture increased
  • They also experimented with different cycles of crop rotation and new crops such as vegetables
  • Started keeping more domesticated animals

New Agricultural Technology
  • Expanded use of watermills and heavy plows
  • Invented the horseshoe and the horse collar

  • Set standards of quality for manufactured goods
  • Sometimes made people change their techniques
  • Also regulated the entry of new workers into their groups

The Estate System in High Middle Europe

The Three Estates
  • "Those who pray" included the clergy of Roman Catholic church, the spiritual estate
  • "Those who fight" include feudal nobles, the military estate
  • "Those who work" the mostly peasants and serfs

  • Widely recognized code of ethics and behavior for feudal nobles
  • Church officials directed chivalry toward Christian faith and piety

  • Aristocratic women promoted chivalric values by patronizing troubadours
  • Troubadours drew inspiration from the love poetry of Muslim Spain

Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • Supported troubadours, promoted good manners, refinement, and romantic love
  • Code of chivalry and romantic poetry softened manners of rough warriors