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The Development of
Feudalism in Western Europe
Chapter 2, pgs. 19-29
2.2: Western Europe
During the Middle Ages
The most important leader of the Franks (people
from modern-day France) was Charlemagne.
He ruled from 768-814C.E.
Unified all Christian lands of Europe into a
single empire (Holy Roman Empire).
Pope Leo III (supreme leader of the Catholic
Church) crowned Charlemagne “Holy Roman
Emperor” in 800 C.E.
2.3: Feudalism
(Establishing Order)
By the High Middle Ages (about 1000
C.E.), Europeans had developed the
system of feudalism.
The feudal system provided people with
protection and safety by establishing a
stable social order.
2.4: Monarchs During
Feudal Times
Monarchs (kings and queens) were
expected to keep order and provide
protection for their vassals (people
whom they ruled over).
Monarchs believed in the divine right
of kings, meaning they felt that God
gave them the right to rule.
2.5: Lords and Ladies
During Feudal Times
Lords and ladies were members of the
nobility, the highest-ranking class.
Most lived in castles on manors, which were
large estates with farmland and villages.
They were protected by high walls and
moats, a deep and wide ditch often filled
with water.
Medieval Castle
2.6: Knights During
Feudal Times
Knights were the mounted soldiers of the
medieval world.
Armor was made of heavy metal plates
linked together to protect the body during
Chivalry: the medieval knight’s code of ideal
behavior, including bravery, loyalty, and
respect for women.
SMW “Knights”
2.7: Peasants During
Feudal Times
Most people during the Middle Ages
were peasants (people who worked the
Free peasants rented land to farm and
owed only their rent to the lord. Unfree
peasants (called serfs) farmed the lords
fields and couldn’t leave the lord’s estate.