SSWH7 The student will analyze European medieval society with regard to culture, politics, society, and economics.
a. Explain the manorial system and feudalism; include the status of peasants and feudal monarchies and the importance of Charlemagne.
Feudalism • A system based on rights and obligations • The king was at the top of the system with landless peasants at the bottom • The peasants, or serfs, were bound by law to stay on the land and grow food and serve those above them • The king in return, was supposed to protect the serfs
Manorial System • A manor was the king’s estate • A self contained system where the king provided housing and land, and in return the serfs took care of the king’s land
Charlemagne (768-843) • Emperor of the Frankish Kingdom (Germany) • Was crowned “Roman Emperor” by the pope, joining Germany with the church • Limited the power of the nobles, developed schools for the wealthy • United most of Western Europe under one ruler
Charlemagne • Promoted the arts • The end of Charlemagne’s rule spelled the beginning of the feudal system
b. Describe the political impact of Christianity; include Pope Gregory VII and King Henry IV of Germany (Holy Roman Emperor).
Pope Gregory VII • In 1075 Pope Gregory banned the practice of kings appointing Catholic bishops • Bishops held great local power and helped the king control the people through religion • King Henry IV of Germany refused to follow the order and demanded that the Pope resign • The Pope instead excommunicated the King, which caused upheaval and revolts against Henry
King Henry IV of Germany • To save his throne, Henry marched across the Alps during winter, and begged for the Pope’s forgiveness • This action helped establish and reinforce papal power over monarchies
Medieval Church • The Catholic Church held influence with the ability to excommunicate and interdiction, which when issued, would prevent Christians from going to heaven • Though politically and socially separated the Church unified people through religion
Growth of Towns and Cities in Medieval Times • Farmers began using horses to plow fields which allowed for more crops to be grown • A greater amount of food allowed for a population explosion, which led to movement into towns and the settling of new towns • Trade from across Europe grew to satisfy the needs of the greater population