Medieval Times for Dummy's

Emily & Carly


Feudalism in the Middle Ages was based on rights and obligations. The feudal life was created for safety and defense. The system formed a small community. Lords would receive land from kings, this land was called a fief. Then The Lord would grant fiefs to vassals and knights who in return gave The Lord protection and loyalty. Under the knights and vassals were the landless peasants who gave food labor and tax in return for safety. Fuedalism provided some organization in the Middle Ages.

Manor System

Manors were the lords estate. The manor system was the basic economic arrangement. The Lord would provide farmland, housing and protection for the serfs in exchange for food and labor. The manor usually only covered a few square miles. This included the manor house, a church, and workshops and surrounding the manor was farmland and forests. Peasants in the manor paid taxes on grain and marriage and also owed priests tithes which were one tenth of their income.

Feudal Warfare

In the Middle Ages new technology in warfare came about. Horses became efficient in warfare. The saddles and stirrups made it easier for men to ride the horses and not fall off. Also a man on horseback had more of an advantage than a man on feet. Many new weapons were introduced during this time including the cross bows. Some of the more popular weapons were the trebuchet and the siege tower.

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church was the most powerful it's influences in Europe using the Middle Ages and feudalism. The church was structured on status. The Pope being at the top of the officials ruled over everyone. Under the pope was the bishops. The bishops role was to settle disputes over teaching and practices of the church. The lowest status of the church were the presits. Presits were important to the civilians because they were the easiest contact.

The Catholic Church had a very important role during the Middle Ages too. Since the Middle Ages were based on feudalism and very unorganized structure and divided many people one thing everyone could share were the same beliefs of the church. The church at this time bonded peopled together. The church provided sense of security and knowledge that no matter what their duties on earth were they all would be treated the same up in heaven.

Problems in The Catholic Church

The church held security for a lot of people but had a lot of problems in itself. All the prayers were written in Latin and more and more presit were not fully educated and could not read the prayers. Some of the popes being elected had a lot of people worried on how well their morals were. The bishops and abbots were caring too much on their feudal positions and forgetting their spiritual duties. Even the village presit were breaking church law. They were getting married and starting families. Bishops even citied simony.

Causes and Effects of The Crusades

Crusades during the Middle Ages are like the mujahideen now just different names. The crusades were started became Pope Urban ll called for a "holy war" so Christians could get back the holy land just for themselves and no other religion. The effects of the crusades fighting people for the holy lands was dramatic. The Byzantine empire weakend, Pope's power declined, kings became more important, and trade increased between Europe and the Middle East. There were a lot more changes but those were just to name a few.

The Knight

Knights were very important during the Middle Ages. They were technically the only soliders lords had for their land. Knights were just under the vassals and could farm just like the serfs but if the land was under attack was supposed to fight for their lord. There is three stages of knighthood. The first stage starts at age seven when the young boy is sent off to the castle of another lord. He is name a page and waits on his hosts and begins to practice his fighting skills. The second stage of knighthood happens at age fourteen when the boy graduates from a page to a squire. Squires are the servants to a real knight. The final stage of knighthood starts at age 21 when the squire becomes a full-fledged knight.

England's Limited Constitutional Monarchy

After Richard the lionhearted was king his son, John, took over. John was cruel to his subjects. As king he raised taxes to an all time high to pay for his military. Because he was such a cruel leader nobles forced him to sign the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta limited the kings powers, it also stated no taxation without representation, jury trial, and protection of law. A Parliament was created also. Knights and wealthy citizens made up parliament.

100 years war

The Hundred Years War started when the last French King died with no heir to the throne. An English king Edward lll claimed that he had French blood and tried to claim the throne of French and become rule of both countries. Because of Edward lll's actions a feeling of nationalism emerged in England and France. The king was not only England's ruler but both countries ruler. The power and restive of the French monarch increased and finally England suffered a period of interal destruction known as the war of roses. The war of roses is where two noble horses fought for the throne.