Medieval Europe

Governments and Social Classes


•Towns were often located on land owned by lords- which meant the towns were under their control.

•Townspeople wanted to make their own laws and were willing to pay for the right to make them.

•Overtime, medieval towns set up their own governments.

•Citizens elected the members of a city council, the council served as judges, city officials, and lawmakers.

•Candidates from the wealthiest and most powerful families were usually able to control the elections so that only they were elected.

Social Classes

•Kings and Queens were the top social class followed by Lords and Ladies, then Knights, and peasants and serfs.

•Serfs usually had little to no furniture, small homes, and slept on small mattresses made of straw, laid on the floor.

•Feudalism began when Charles Martel needed an army to fight the Muslims invading France, so he began giving estates, and large farms to nobles willing to fight for him.

•When Charlemagne's empire collapsed, Western Europe lost its last strong central government, and landowning nobles gained the right to collect and enforce laws.

•Under Feudalism, landowning nobles governed at protected the people in return for services, such as fighting in a nobles army or farming the land.

•By a.d. 1000, the kingdoms were divided into thousands of feudal territories.

By: Hanna Clasen