Development of Feudalism

Development of Feudalism
Chapter 2
Periods of the Middle Ages
Historians have divided the Middle ages
into three periods:
◦ The Early Middle Ages lasted from about 476
to 1000 CE.
◦ The High Middle Ages lasted from 1000 to
1300 CE
◦ The Late Middle Ages lasted from about 1300
to 1450 CE.
Feudalism is the economic and political
system that developed in Europe during
the Middle Ages.
Feudalism developed different social
In this there were more people in the
lower class than in the higher classes.
Feudalism Class Structure
King- the King was
the head of all
 Lords- a ruler or
powerful landowner
 Knight- an armed
 Peasants- a person
who worked the land
After Rome
For 500 years much of Europe was a part
of the Roman Empire.
 The rest of Europe was controlled by,
what the Romans called, barbarians.
 Barbarians are people belonging to a tribe
or groups that is considered uncivilized.
 Rome fell to invading barbarians. This left
Europe without a central government, or
central defense.
Kingdoms after Rome
Without a central government or system
of defense; many invading groups set up
 The kingdoms were often at war with
one another.
 The most powerful rulers were those
who controlled the most land and had the
best warriors.
The Franks
The Franks were successful because they
created a new style of warfare.
 At the age of 15, Clovis became the king
of the Franks. During his 30 year reign he
led the Franks in war and widened the
 He also lead the Franks to Christianity.
He led his followers to become members
of the Roman Catholic Church.
Charlemagne’s Empire
Charlemagne is also known as Charles
The Great.
 He ruled over 40 years. And was their
most important leader. He encouraged
 Charlemagne’s empire survived many
barbarian attacks.
 After his death, the rulers after him could
not defend the empire. But, his example
was followed of rewarding the knights.
Charlemagne and the church
He also unified nearly all the Christian
lands in Europe into a single empire.
 Charlemagne had the help of the pope
Leo III, who was the leader of the Roman
Catholic Church.
 The church was a central part of the
society during this time.
A need for protection
The Muslims, Magyars, and the Vikings
were the three main groups that
threatened western Europe.
 The people needed a way to protect their
selves from attacks of these three groups.
 They gradually developed a system we call
Establishing Feudalism
The feudal system provided the people
with protection by establishing a stable
social order.
 Each person played a role in society. And
each person would be protected as long
as they do their job.
How feudalism works
All the land in the kingdom belong to the
monarch (a king or queen).
 The monarchs gave the lords fiefs; in
return the lords provide the king with
knights in times of war.
 At the bottom was the serfs. The serfs
sometimes were able to rent their land.
But others were “tied” to the land they
worked. And they could not leave their
lords land.
Most lords and wealthier knights lived on
 A manor included a castle or manor
house, one or more villages, and the
surround farmland.
 These were far away from towns so the
serfs had to produce everything the
people on the manor needed.
Map of a Manor
Class Flow Chart
This chart shows
what flow of the
class systems and
how the serfs are
connected to the
king through taxes.
Social Class was for
life and you were
born into the social
class of your parents.
Monarchs In Feudal Times
The Monarchs believed in the divine
rights of kings. This is the belief that God
gives monarchs the right to rule.
 Some had to work hard to keep their
power. Few had enough wealth to keep
their own army.
◦ They had to look to their nobles to provide
them with knights and soldiers.
William the Conqueror
William was upset
when England
crowned his cousin.
 He and his army
invaded England and
defeated his cousin
at the Battle of the
 This established a
line of Norman kings.
Hierarchy is a system of organizing people
into ranks, with those higher ranks, with
those of higher rank have more power and
 Hierarchy was shown in homes. The lords
lived in manors houses and some in castles.
 The kings and queens lived in grander
 These had a large structure and were
centrally located.
The earliest castles were built of wood
and were surrounded by high wood
 They had a motte was the strongest part
of their security.
 The Bailey is were they lived in the castle.
Later Castles
The castles become more elaborate.
 Many had tall towers for looking out
across the land.
 The main castle would have: storerooms,
a library, a dining hall, bedrooms for
distinguished guests and the lord and
lady’s quarters.
Daily life of Women
Noble women were not land
owners, but were still very busy.
 They were responsible for raising their
children and also training their children.
 They were also to look over their
household. Which some had hundreds of
people like: priests, master hunters,
knights-in-training, cooks, servants, artists,
craftspeople and grooms.
It was not all good for nobles
Houses lit only by candles and warmed by
an open fire. So, they could be gloomy
and cold.
 Hardly and privacy.
 Fleas and lice infected all buildings.
 Bathed once a week, clothes not washed
 Disease affected the rich and poor.
These were the
soldiers of the
middle ages.
 The knights had
some wealth. Their
full suit of armor and
a horse cost a small
 Knights were usually
under a more
powerful lords.
Becoming A Knight
A boy started as a page, or servant.
 At 7 the boy went to live at a castle with a
lord, who was often a relative.
 The ladies of the house taught them to sing,
dance, compose music, and play the harp.
 After 7 years the boy becomes a squire.
 He polishes the knight’s armor, sword, shield
and lance.
 In his early 20’s a squire would become a
knight, if he was deserving.
Responsibilities of Knight
Knights lived by a strong code of behavior
called chivalry.
Chivalry is the medieval knight’s code of
ideal behavior, including bravery, loyalty, and
respect for women.
Knights were involved in jousts and
Knights were around until about the 17th
century when gunpowder and canons came
around. Knights were no longer affective.
Jousting- two armed knights on horseback
galloped at each other with lances held
straight out.
 The idea was to unseat the opponent
from his horse.
 It can be done as a sport, for exercise, or
as a serious battle.
How does a person become a knight?
The majority of the people were Peasants.
 They worked the land. Their labor freed the
lord and knights to spend their time preparing
for war or fighting.
 The peasants were classified either free or
unfree. This was dependent on the amount
owed to the lord.
 Free peasant rented their land for the lord.
The unfree are known as serfs and could not
leave the lord’s land.
Daily Life of Peasants
Their lives revolved around work.
 Raised crops and tended livestock.
 Some manors also had carpenters,
shoemakers, smiths, and other skilled
 Women worked in the fields when they
were needed and cared for their children
and their homes.
Payments to the lord
They had to pay a yearly payment called
“head money”. This was a fixed amount
from each person.
 If the lord needed money he could
demand a tallage.
 When a woman married her father or
husband had to pay a merchet fee.
Daily lives of Serfs
Serfs also had to grind their grain at the
lord’s mill. The miller would keep grain
for himself and the lord. Many hid small
hand mills in their houses.
 Lived in small houses of one or two
 Ate vegetables, meats such as pork, and
dark, coarse bread made of wheat mixed
with rye or oatmeal.
Reflection on Chapter
Why did feudalism develop?
 How were the lives of serfs and knights
 Classify the different people living on a
manor into groups. Label each group.

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