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The Middle Ages
A.D. 500
Today’s Aim: To understand the
geography of Europe and identify
how new kingdoms emerged.
The Geography of Europe
• The second smallest
• Connects with Asia to
create world’s largest
• Ural and Caucasus
Mts. Are considered to
be the border between
Europe and Asia
The Geography of Europe
• Europe is shaped like
a peninsula and has
many islands and
• It is surrounded by the
Atlantic Ocean,
Mediterranean Sea, the
North Sea, and the
Baltic Sea
The Geography of Europe
• Climate is temperate, or mild, because of the
winds that blow over the ocean
• Good farmland
• Relied heavily on trade and fishing
• Europe has many long, navigable rivers
• The seas and rivers provided safety as well
as opportunities for trade and for different
cultures to develop
Who was Charlemagne?
• Son of Pepin, king of the Franks
• Became king after Pepin’s death
• Helped the pope against the Lombards (Germanic
• Charlemagne also helped the pope against the
• Wherever he conquered, spread Christianity
• In A.D. 800, Charles's kingdom grew into an
empire and he earned the name Charlemagne or
“Charles the Great.”
• On Christmas day in A.D.
800, the pope Leo III
crowned Charlemagne and
declared him the new
Roman emperor
• He made Aachen the
capital of his empire
• Supporter of education
• Asked a scholar named
Alcuin to start a school in
his court and trained
children of government
officials religion, Latin,
music, literature &
Kings & Queens
Under feudalism, each
level of society had
duties to the groups
above and below it.
Lords & Ladies
Peasants & Serfs
• Feudalism developed in Europe in the Middle
Ages. Its was based on landowning, loyalty, and
the power of armored knights on horseback.
• Landowning nobles governed and protected the
people in return for services, such as fighting in a
noble’s army or farming the land.
• By A.D. 1000, the kingdoms of Europe were
divided into thousands of feudal territories.
• At the center of each, was a noble’s castle,
The Role of a Vassal
• Feudalism was based on ties of loyalty and duty
among the nobles.
• Nobles were both lords and vassals.
• A vassal was a noble who served a lord of higher
rank. In return, the lord protected the vassal.
• A vassal showed his loyalty by serving in his
lord’s army.
• In return, a lord granted his vassal land and
permission to rule the people who lived on it. This
grant to a vassal was known as a fief.
What was the Manorial System
• The lands of the fiefs were called manors
• The lords ruled the manor
• Peasants worked the land (some were
freemen who paid a noble for the right to
farm the land)
• Most peasants were serfs who could not
leave the manor, own property, or marry
without the lord’s approval.
Stages of Knighthood
Ages 7-13
Learn manners
& etiquette
Ages 14-20
Learn archery &
Help knights
Sleep beside
with daily chores knight
(care for
Ages 21 +
Night before
must reflect in
Ceremonial bath
Learn how to
read and write
Fights to protect
Vassals greatest
• They were not enslaved
• Lords had the right to
protect serfs
• Serfs worked long hours
• Gained freedom if they
ran away to towns and
remained there for over a
• Later in the Middle Ages,
serfs could buy their
Improving Farming
• Wheeled plow with iron
• Horse collar to pull plow
• Windmills were used for
grinding grain, pumping
water, and cutting wood.
• Result- more food =
increased population
Increase Trade
• By 1100, feudalism had made Europe safer, and
new technology enabled people to produce more
food and goods.
• Nobles repaired bridges , roads, and arrested
bandits. As a result, trade resumed in Europe.
• Increased trade led to the growth of towns and
cities and the rise of guilds and city governments.
• Trade encouraged manufacturing. People
produced cloth, metal work, shoes, and other
• Craftspeople organized guilds, or business
groups(set standard for quality in products).
England in the Middle Ages
• England developed a
system in which the king;s
power was shared with
• William the Conqueror,
First Norman King , had a
strong organized rule over
• He blended Norman and
English cultures.
Too Much Power by the Kings
• After William the
Conqueror’s rule, Henry II
became king and
increased his power.
• He used the law courts to
increase his power.
• Henry’s son, King John
took over after his death.
• King John raised taxes in
England and punished
enemies without trials.
• Many nobles resented the
king’s power.
The Magna Carta
• In 1215 a group of lords
took action to limit the
king’s power.
• They wrote a legal
charter, or document,
which stated that they
had certain rights, such
as the right to a fair trial.
• With the support of their
knights, the lords forced
the king to sign the
Magna Carta.
The Crusades
• During this age of faith,
holy wars, known as the
Crusades took place.
• Crusaders often passed
through Italian port
cities on their way to the
Holy Land.
• Trade increased
• By the end of the
Crusades in 1291,
Europe was changing in
many ways.
End of the Middle Ages
• In 1348 a plagues truck
western Europe
• A plague is a terrible
disease that spreads
• This plague was caused by
a bacteria spread by rats
and fleas.
• This plague was known as
the Black Death and
wiped out nearly 1/3 of
the western European
population 2/3 of people
in Siena, Italy). Brain pop
The Renaissance
• Out of the misery of the Black Death came new
ideas that stirred Europe.
• Starting around 1350 enthusiasm of art, literature,
and trade increased throughout northern Italy
• This was the beginning of a period called the
Renaissance, or “rebirth.”
• There was a powerful, new interest in humanism
as opposed to interests toward “the next world.”
Lorenzo Medici
• One of the wealthiest families in Florence
was the Medici family who gained great
wealth through banking and trading.
• The most famous member of the family was
Lorenzo Medici, later known as “Lorenzo
the Magnificent.”
He was a patron, or
supporter, of the arts and
paid artists to pursue their
work in Florence.
• Italian humanist who
studied classic works
of literature from
ancient Greece, Rome,
& Arabia.
• Became the most
celebrated poet in
• He loved learning and
he read every book he
could find.
• Used many classical
ideas-such as balance and
form-in his paintings,
sculptures, and
Works: The sculpture of
The David, scenes of The
Last Judgment on the
altar wall of the Sistine
Chapel, influential
architect - St. Peter’s
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
Leonardo da Vinci
The Renaissance Man
• Humanist, painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, scientist,
engineer, musician
• As a child, Leonardo showed great ability in drawing.
• His father took him to the greatest painter in Florence for
teaching….Leonardo painted with such skill, that his teacher
put down his paintbrushes and never picked them up again.
• Kept hundreds of notebooks with his ideas and always wrote
• Made plans for a submarine, machine gun, parachute.
• Studied carefully the flight of birds.His close observation
helped him to design a flying machine.
Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci, is one of
the most famous paintings in the world.
Da Vinci drew this portrait of
Mona Lisa
Nicolaus Copernicus
• Studied books of Greek and Arab astronomy.
• Observed the night sky with a simple telescope
and carefully recorded the positions of the stars.
• In 1514, Copernicus discovered that Earth orbited
around the sun, once a year.
• This discovery contradicted many European
leaders and Church teachings and his teachings
were not accepted.
• It was not until after Copernicus died that his
book, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
was published.
The Reformation
• In 1500 the Roman Church had become the most
powerful institution in Europe.
• The Pope claimed authority over Europe’s rulers.
• The Pope’s power also brought great wealth to the
• Like the government of the Roman Empire, the
Roman Church taxed the people of Europe and
used some of the money to buy works of art.
• Humanists such as Erasmus began to criticize the
Church policy concerning indulgences.
• During the Middle Ages people began to pay to be
forgiven by a priest for acting against Christian
Martin Luther
• In Wittenberg, Germany,
the sale of indulgences
made a monk, Martin
Luther, angry.
• He felt that money should
be given to the poor
instead of spending it on
the building of St. Peter’s,
a great cathedral in Rome.
• In 1517 Luther wrote 95
Theses, or statements of
• He placed this list on the
Wittenberg Church door.
Martin Luther
• Martin Luther’s 95
Theses started a
movement called The
Reformation which
brought change or
reform to the Church
in Rome.
Johannes Gutenberg
• In 1448 he built the
printing press.
• The printing press made
writing easier, cheaper,
and faster.
• Printing press helped
spread Luther’s
criticism of the Roman
Church and a translation
of the Bible.
• Luther’s followers became known as
• Thought convents and monasteries were
• Thought church decorations and services
should be simpler.
King Henry VIII
• Brought religious
change to England.
• Built a strong monarchy.
• At first he supported the
Roman Church, but
when the Pope did not
grant him a divorce, he
stopped supporting the
Roman Church and
began supporting the
Protestant Church.
Queen Elizabeth I
• King Henry VIII ‘s
• One of the most popular
monarchs in England.
• Renaissance arrived in
England during her rule.
• Religious conflicts
• She enjoyed poetry and
plays and supported the
work of playwright
William Shakespeare.
William Shakespeare
Queen Elizabeth
• During her rule, Spain
wanted to gain control
over Atlantic trade routes
and wanted England to
support Catholicism again.
• Spain sent an armada of
130 warships to attack
• After 9 days, England
defeated Spain with only
90 ships.
• As a result, England
became one of the greatest
naval powers in the world.