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The Decline of Feudalism

The Decline of Feudalism

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The Decline of Feudalism

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  1. The Decline of Feudalism Presentation #5

  2. Decline of Feudalism 12th – 15th Centuries • Political change • Terrible disease • Long series of war

  3. Political Changes in England • King Henry II • Insisted people accused of a serious crime be formally accused by a jury • Cases were tried before a royal court at the expense of the feudal lords • This eventually replaced trial by combat and trial by ordeal

  4. Constitution of Clarendon – kings traditional rights • One right was the right to try accused clergy • Caused a bitter quarrel with friend Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury

  5. 1170 four knights killed Becket in front of the main altar of Canterbury Cathedral • Pilgrims came to his tomb • Church proclaimed him a saint in 1173

  6. King John made lots of enemies • Youngest son of Henry • Lost most of lands English had controlled in France • Taxed barons heavily • Ignored traditional rights – arresting opponents at will • Quarreled with church and collected mucho dinero from its properties

  7. Magna Carta – Great Charter • 1215 angry barons forced a meeting with King John in a meadow called Runnymede next to the River Thames • Forced him to put his seal on the charter • King could continue to rule

  8. Had to honor common law, traditional rights of barons and church officials before imposing taxes • No free man could be jailed unless by lawful judgment of peers- habeas corpus • Became the foundation of citizens rights and liberties in England

  9. King Edward I (King John’s grandson) • Took steps to include more people in government • Model Parliament – included commoners, as well as church officials and noble

  10. Changes Weakened Feudalism • Strengthened royal authority at the expense of nobles • Shifted power to the common person • These ideas gave rise to modern democratic institutions

  11. Bubonic Plague (Black Death) • First struck Europe in 1347 – 1351 • Returned about every decade during the 15th century • Began in Asia – possibly China traveled from central Asia to the black Sea along the Silk Road • Carried to Italy by ship – fleas from rats

  12. Symptoms • Fever • Vomiting • Fierce coughing and sneezing fits • Egg sized swelling or bumps • Black and blue blotches on the skin

  13. Spread • Lived in dirty conditions • Fleas that feed on blood of infected rodents – when rats died fleas jumped onto other animals including people • People sometimes went a month without a bath or changing clothes

  14. City streets were filled with waste, dead animals and trash attracting rats • Plague was blamed on position of planets, lepers, Jews

  15. Impact of plague • China’s population was cut in half • 24 million people are thought to have died – third of population • Trade and commerce almost came to a halt • Had to rebuild the economy • Rebuilt in a different way

  16. Demand for workers was increased • Could demand a higher wage and more rights • Serfs left manor for cities and towns for better opportunities • Weakened feudal system • Peasant rebellions broke out in France, Flanders, England, Germany, Spain, and Italy

  17. English Peasants war in 1381 • Entered London and presented their demands to Richard II • Leader of rebellion killed • Revolt lost its momentum

  18. Hundred Years War • England and France fought in a series of wars between 1337 and 1453 • Long conflict weakened feudalism in both countries • War broke out over conflicts over fiefs

  19. English kings claimed fiefs in France • King Philip VI of France declared the fiefs of King Edward III were part of France – war broke out

  20. Battles • England won most of the early battles • French army was heavy armored horse mounts – could hardly move – used swords and lances – foot soldiers used crossbows which were only effective at short range

  21. English had lightly armored soldiers with longbows – recruited and paid common people to fight • Longbow could be fired more quickly, flew further, faster, and with more accuracy

  22. After a long truce, King Henry V invaded France • Faced stronger resistance • French were recruiting commoners • Stronger sense of national identity • Joan of Arc went to battle for France and won in 1429

  23. In 1430 Orleans was captured by allies of England • English accused Joan of being a heretic and burned her at the stake • 22 years later French finally drove England out of France • 500 years later Joan was made a saint

  24. Impact of War • Monarchs on both sides built armies from common people and didn’t need the protection of the nobles • Changes in technology made knights and castles less useful – longbow – knights – gunpowder could blast through castle walls

  25. Now people were more loyal to king than to lords creating a sense of national unity • Peasants bore the burden of war • Fought in army • Pay higher taxes