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 As Roman Civilization declined, Europe
became an isolated land of disunity, conflict
and poverty.
 People no longer had the Roman Empire to
protect them and unite them
 Between 400 and 700, Germanic tribes
carved Western Europe into small kingdoms.
 This signaled the beginning of the Medieval
 In Medieval Times,
people lived difficult
 It took a lot of work to
simply survive
 A political system
called Feudalism was
created to solve these
 Think back to our unit on Japan- how
would you define feudalism?
 Feudalism is:
 A system where
people pledge
loyalty to a lord or
powerful land
holder and in
return receive
land and
 You travel in time to a Medieval Kingdom. You
have never been here before and you are excited
to meet as many different people as you can. Try
to find a person who fits each of the following
 The feudal system made sure each person
played a distinct role for society to function.
 Without any one person in the system, the
society would fail
 King: The ruler of the land and the one
who was in charge of making decisions
Lord and Ladies- The noble men, or
wealthy land owners who were given
manors from the King. Ladies were their
wives and daughters
Knights- the sworn protectors of the King
and Lords
Peasants- worked the land
Serfs- Peasants who were not free to leave
the land
 Life in feudal society was structured around the
 The manor was the house and grounds that
everyone lived on
 Manors had everything one needed in order to
 Life was hard in Medieval Times
and not very glamorous
Even for wealthy families, castles
were dim cold places
Houses did not have in-door
plumbing or hot water so
people rarely bathed
People would discard trash and
bones of food onto the floor
which led to insects, rats, and
All these issues led to frequent
 Around 800, Western Europe was united when
an emperor built a vast empire
 The Emperor is known in history as Charlemagne,
or Charles the Great.
 He loved battle and spent most of his 46 years
 His conquest of various places reunited much of
the old Roman Empire.
 Charlemagne did many things to
exercise control over his many
lands and create a United
Christian Europe.
 He worked very closely with the
church; he helped spread
Christianity to conquered peoples.
 He appointed powerful nobles to
rule local regions.
 Education had declined
so much that even the
clergy (members of the
church) were sadly
ignorant and
 Charlemagne himself
could read, but not write.
 He felt nobles and clergy
needed to keep accurate
records and write clear
 He founded a school and
created a curriculum or
formal course of study.
 After Charlemagne died in 814, his
empire soon fell apart.
 Finally in 843, Charlemagne’s
grandsons drew up the Treaty of
Verdun, which split the empire into
the three regions
 Charlemagne’s legacy is that he
spread Christianity to various parts of
 What were 3 big accomplishments
of Charlemagne?
 How do you think Europe would
have been different without his
 The church was the center of medieval life
 Every town and manor had a church or
 The church was a daily presence in people’s
 People even measured how long to cook an
egg based on how many prayers they said
 Just like feudal society, the church had a very
strict structure
 The church had incredible power
 The only common language in Europe was
Latin- The language of the church
 Only church officials could read and write
 The church could excommunicate people
which meant throwing them out of the
 The church taught that the only way to
salvation was through the sacraments
 Can you see any problems with
the church having so much
 The crusades were a series of wars between
Christians and Muslims over the holy land and
 Both religions wanted to gain control of this
important place.
 The Crusades began in 1095 when Pope Urban II
made a urgent call to all Christians to stop the
Muslims from taking control of the Christian cities
Constantinople and Jerusalem.
 The crusades had a great impact on European
 Reasons people
went on Crusades
 To seek wealth
 To guarantee their
 Deep religious
 The crusades were extremely violent and seen
as one of the most powerful examples of
religious intolerance throughout history
 Why do you think these religious
groups hated each other so
 What do you predict will be some
lasting effects of the Crusades
 The impact of the Crusades was huge
 Kings grew more powerful as knights and
nobles left to fight which helped to eventually
end feudalism
 Thousands of people were killed and injured
 The increase in travel brought new economic
systems to Europe
 Crusaders were exposed to many new styles
of clothing and foods on their trips which
encouraged trade routes to develop
“All who die on their way, whether by land or by sea, or
in battle against the Muslims, shall have immediate
forgiveness of sins. This I grant them through the power
of God with which I am given.”
“Let those who go not put off the journey, but rent their
lands and collect money; and as soon as winter is over
and spring comes, let hem eagerly set out on the way
with God as their guide.”
“Let those who have been serving as knights for small
pay now obtain the eternal reward.”