Feudalism & Middle Ages – World History

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Feudalism, Middle Ages, Trade, Cultural Expansion, Church, Civilization – World History

The key terms in these history chapters include Feudalism, Trade & Cultural Expansion, Civilization, France, Church, Middle Ages, Empire, Political, Foundation, Islamic Civilization, History.


Feudalism: political

-Hierarchical and interdependent
—Church
—Lords/nobles
—Vassals/lesser lords
—Knights
—Peasants (free and serfs)
-Grants of land given by lords in exchange for oaths of loyalty
-Private armies of vassals and their knights protected lords and their lands
-Peasants owed labor and obedience
-All owed loyalty and obedience to the Church


Feudalism: economic

-Manor estates
—Owned by lords
—Peasant serfs given land to work in exchange for percentage of crop
—Free peasants worked as skilled laborers
—Dues and fees charged for tenancy, use of roads, bridges, etc.


Feudalism: outcomes

-Political outcomes: stability, leading lords emerged as kings, foundation for nation-states
-Economic outcomes: self-sufficiency, foundation for urbanization
—Productive surpluses and specialization of skills would lead to trade
—Trade would lead to growth of towns and cities
-Christian value system institutionalized by the Church


The Later Middle Ages

-c. 1000-1500


France during the later Middle Ages

-The rise of feudal monarchs resulted in the development of the nation-states of France
—By the early 13th century, royal authority had expanded and France had become a European power
—Conflicts with the pope over the extent of religious rule resulted in an increase in the authority of the monarch
—The Hundred Years War (1337-1453) between England and France resulted in the English being driven out of most of France


Russia and the Ottoman Empire

-Landlocked, did not have a geographical outlet to the Mediterranean
-The Ottoman Empire was centered in Turkey, whose borders include the Black Sea (north) and the Mediterranean Sea (south)
-Historically, a characteristic of Russian foreign policy from the 17th century onward was to obtain permanent access to the Mediterranean
-A port on the Black Sea would allow Russia to better control its own destiny
-Britain and other European countries prevented the territorial expansion of Russia in the direction of Turkey (European objective was the to maintain the current balance of power)
-The most notable attempt by Russia to upset the balance resulted in Russian defeat during the Crimean War (1853-56)


Islamic civilization: government and religion

-Arabs preserved the cultures of the peoples they conquered
-Religious pilgrimages led to the spread of new ideas
-The caliphs improved farming methods and crop yields
-Military expansion also served as a vehicle for cultural exchane between the Arab and western worlds


Islamic civilization: trade and cultural expansion

-Trade and commerce led to a high standard of living in cities
-Muslim trade helped spread Islamic culture to foreign lands
-Many factors helped trade expand, including no taxation and strong banking practices
-Ibn Battuta (Islamic scholar, A.D. 1305-1368) spread Islamic culture by traveling widely


Muslim contributions

-Institutions: hospitals, medical schools, libraries, universities
-Agriculture: cash crops, crop rotation
-Mathematics: algebra, algorithms, Arabic numerals, decimal point
-Globalization: exploration, work of scholars, trade (Atlantic, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, China Sea)
-Science: methodology, theory and experimentation, astrolabe (astronomical instrument used to locate and predict the positions of the sun, moon, planet and stars), alchemy
-Arts: calligraphy, illuminated manuscripts, glazed pottery, Persian and Arabian mythology
-Medicine: forceps, bone saw, scalpel, surgical needle
-Technology: mechanical clocks, pointed arch, stained glass, windmill
-Poetry, philosophy, literature


The Early Middle Ages

-c. A.D. 500-1000
-Dark Ages: A.D. 500-800
-The collapse of Rome and sweeping advances of Germanic and Viking raiders, Europe entered a time of chaotic political, economic, and urban decline
-A struggle back toward stability


Role of the Church in the Early Middle Ages

-As the Western Roman Empire was under relentless attack from barbarian tribes, people looked to the Church for salvation
-The Church became the preserver of civilization and its unifying force in both political and religious life
-Church entered into feudal contracts and became an extensive landholder; at one point, the Church owned approx. 1/3 of the land
-Europe was referred to as “Christendom”
-Both the Christian Church and local nobles exercised their authority to form a new kind of society, creating the foundation for a politically reorganized Europe of competing nation-states


The Franks

-Became the dominant Germanic tribe
-Clovis, king of the Franks (A.D. 481-511), was converted to Christianity
-Domestic feuds and civil war broke out among the Merovingians (A.D. 561)
—Political power shifted away from the monarchy
—Charles Martel (Frankish military/political leader) halted the Muslim advance into Europe at the Battle of Tours (A.D. 732); Martel’s victory helped preserve western civilization


The Carolingians

-Replaced the Franks as legitimate rulers
-Pepin the Short (A.D. 747-768) was appointed by the pope as king and established the Papal States on former Byzantine lands
-Charlemagne (A.D. 768-814) dominated the political structure of the early Middle Ages
—He was crowned “Emperor of the Romans” by Pope Leo in A.D. 800 and had a major impact on the history of Europe
—He revived the concept of the Holy Roman Empire and established authority over secular rulers
-His empire included most of the former Roman Empire and additional Germanic lands between the Rhine and Elbe rivers
—The Carolingian Renaissance resulted in the establishment of a palace academy with a prescribed academic curriculum


Dissolution of the Frankish Empire

-Hastened by the Frankish system of inheritance
-The Treaty of Verdun (A.D. 843) divided Charlemagne’s empire among his three grandsons
-Carolingian rule ended in the 10th century because of the decline in central authority and the invasions of the Scandinavian tribes


The Viking (Norse) invaders

-Pillaged the coasts of Europe in the 8th century
-The Danes were responsible for the major invasions of England
-Alfred the Great (A.D. 871-99) established the English kingdom after stemming the Danish invasions
-In France, the Carolingian king was forced to cede Normandy to the Vikings


The feudal system

-The government system and basis for society in the Middle Ages
-The system was based on land ownership; person who was allowed by a lord to use his land was called a vassal and the land was called a fief
-There were no formal countries, but the fiefdom held economic and political power
-Under feudalism, political authority was dominated by the land-owning nobility
-In return for protection against invaders, vassals were expected to be loyal to the landowner
-Manorialism was the agricultural organization and economic foundation of feudalism


Feudalism: political

-Hierarchical and interdependent
—Church
—Lords/nobles
—Vassals/lesser lords
—Knights
—Peasants (free and serfs)
-Grants of land given by lords in exchange for oaths of loyalty
-Private armies of vassals and their knights protected lords and their lands
-Peasants owed labor and obedience
-All owed loyalty and obedience to the Church


Feudalism: economic

-Manor estates
—Owned by lords
—Peasant serfs given land to work in exchange for percentage of crop
—Free peasants worked as skilled laborers
—Dues and fees charged for tenancy, use of roads, bridges, etc.


Feudalism: outcomes

-Political outcomes: stability, leading lords emerged as kings, foundation for nation-states
-Economic outcomes: self-sufficiency, foundation for urbanization
—Productive surpluses and specialization of skills would lead to trade
—Trade would lead to growth of towns and cities
-Christian value system institutionalized by the Church


The Later Middle Ages

-c. 1000-1500


France during the later Middle Ages

-The rise of feudal monarchs resulted in the development of the nation-states of France
—By the early 13th century, royal authority had expanded and France had become a European power
—Conflicts with the pope over the extent of religious rule resulted in an increase in the authority of the monarch
—The Hundred Years War (1337-1453) between England and France resulted in the English being driven out of most of France