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Middle Ages
Decline of Feudalism and
the Rise of Nations in
England & France
Rise of Nations
 After
decline of Rome, Western
Europe fell under rule of many
different groups of people
 Fighting occurred almost
constantly among these groups
 Feudalism emerged as a form of
government that offered
Rise of Nations
 Except
for Charlemagne, kings had
very little power because their lands &
power was transferred to the nobles
 BUT, in 1100s European
monarchs (kings) began to
build strong nation-states
 Nation-state is group of people under
1 government, with definite territorial
borders, common culture & language
Strong Monarchies
 England
& France were Europe’s
1st nation-states
 The role of the monarchy (king)
grew stronger in England &
France in the 1300s
 The growth of nations led to the
beginning of Nationalism (loyalty
to a nation-state rather than
feudal lord)
 After
the collapse of the Roman
Empire, England was dominated
by 2 Germanic tribes: Angles &
Saxons; groups
combined in 866
& kingdom
became known
as England
 Norman
Invasion—William, Duke
of Normandy invaded England in
1066 & became a very powerful
king of England
(became known
as William the
 William’s
grandson, Henry II, set
up system of common law—using
judges & courts to
make sure law is
–Grand Juries—
examined crimes
–Petit Juries—decided
guilt or innocence of
 Henry
II’s son, John, was weak &
unpopular king who upset feudal
lords; forced him to sign Magna Carta
in 1215
–1st document to limit the power of a
king (king could not
collect taxes without
approval of a Great
Council of nobles)
 As
middle class began to grow, they
wanted representation in Great
Council; 1295, king allowed middle
class to join—became known as
–Parliament limited
king by advising
him on government
Stronger Monarchies—War of the Roses
 In
1455, England had a civil war as 2
royal families claimed the throne:
Lancaster (red rose) & York (white)
 Henry Tudor was related to
both families & ended the
civil war—Henry
was then
named king
Stronger Monarchies—War of the Roses
 Effects:
–Many nobles died or fled during
war, which strengthened
monarchy & further reduced
IDEA: Instead of creating
a nation-state with strong king
then limiting power of king like
England, France
creates a
nation-state with
strong king who
got stronger
 After
Charlemagne died, Frankish
kings were very weak; nobles in
France ruled as if there was no king
 In 987 Hugh Capet took French
throne from a weak king;
strengthened French monarchy
–Freed peasants from feudal lords;
people became loyal to king not
 Created
of nobles, church members,
peasants to help raise taxes
–But, Estates-General never
became as powerful in
France as Parliament
was in England…so…
–The French king grew more
powerful than the English king
(who was limited by Parliament)
First Estate—Clergy (Priests)
Second Estate—Nobles
Third Estate—Commoners
Middle Ages:
Rise of Spain
as a Nation
 The
Islamic Empire controlled
most of Spain since 750
 BUT, Christians began to retake
Spain around time of Crusades
(quest known as Reconquista)
 By late 1400s, the Reconquista
was successful; Spain was ruled
by exclusively by Christian kings
 But Spain was divided into feudal
territories—it was not unified
 Spain
was united when Isabella of
Castile married Ferdinand of
Aragon in 1469
 Began Spanish Inquisition—used
trials, torture, imprisonment to rid
Spain of all Jews & Muslims
(“one king, one law, one faith”)
Middle Ages:
Rise of Russia
as a Nation
Byzantines Influence Slavs
 Slavs—nomads
migrated from Europe
to Asia; warred with Byzantines
 Because of contact, Slavs began to
convert to Christianity & adopted
many Byzantine customs
–Cyril developed alphabet so they
could read Bible—Cyrillic Alphabet
–Russian king was impressed with
Hagia Sophia, developed Russia
like Constantinople, not Rome
 During
1200s, the Mongols
invaded & ruled over all of Russia
(& Asia and China, too!)
 But, in 1480 Ivan III refused to pay
the Mongols tribute (taxes) &
broke Russia free from Mongol
 Ivan III became czar (Slavic word
for king) & made Moscow capital
of new empire
 Under
Ivan IV, the power of feudal
lords was weakened & Russia
conquered more land from Mongols;
Ivan IV married Anastasia
Romanov (Romanov family
will be important later!!)
 But, Ivan IV ruled by terror,
murdered thousands of
Russians, even his own
son (Was Ivan IV insane?)
The Rise of Nations Review
each new nation-state, use
the textbox to identify the
significant event(s) that led to
the rise of a powerful king