Middle Ages Notes Chapters 17 & 18 Europe After the Fall of Rome

Middle Ages Notes Chapters 17 & 18
Europe After the Fall of Rome
Despite the efforts of Christians to maintain order, Europe was a dangerous place after the fall of
Main Ideas:
 Christianity spread to northern Europe through the work of missionaries and
 The Franks, led by Charlemagne, created a huge Christian empire and brought
together scholars from around Europe.
 Invaders threatened much of Europe in the 700s and 800s.
Christianity spreads to northern Europe
A. After the fall of Rome, Europe was divided into groups, each with their own king
a. These kingdoms marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, a period of
time lasting from 500-1500
b. Another name for this age is the medieval period.
B. Missionaries
a. The most powerful force that helped spread Christianity was the pope.
b. He sent missionaries, people who try to convert people to a particular
religion, to Europe.
c. St. Patrick was a famous missionary.
C. Monks
a. Religious men who lived in isolated communities, they performed many
b. Gave aid to the poor and needy
c. Ran schools and copies books
d. Collected and saved writings from Greece and Rome
e. Served as scribes and advisors to local rulers
The Franks Build an Empire
A. Charlemagne came to power in the 700s
a. Leader of the Franks
b. Fierce warrior and strong king
c. Ruled over France, Germany, Austria, Italy and northern Spain
B. Charlemagne’s Accomplishments
a. Led the Franks in building a huge empire
b. Crowned king of the Holy Roman Empire by the pope on Christmas Day
c. Loved learning and was a fan of schools (he knew how to read and write)
Invaders Threaten Europe
A. Muslim armies poured into southern France and northern Italy
B. Magyars were fierce warriors who swept into Europe, attacking towns and
destroying fields
C. Vikings came from Scandinavia and raided Britain, Ireland and western Europe.
Feudalism and Manor Life 17.3
The complex web of duties and obligations governed relationships between people in the
Middle Ages
Main Ideas:
 Feudalism governed how knights and nobles dealt with each other.
 Feudalism spread through most of Europe.
 The manor system dominated Europe’s economy.
 Towns and trade grew and helped end the feudal system.
Feudalism Governs Knights and Nobles
A. To defend their lands, nobles needed soldiers, or knights, warriors who fought on
B. Knights and Land
a. Knights needed weapons, armor, and horses, so nobles gave land, (fief) to
the knights.
b. Knights who agreed to support the lord (noble) in exchange for land was
called a vassal. (It was possible to be both a lord and a vassal)
c. Feudalism was a system of promises that governed the relationships
between lords and vassals.
C. Lord’s Duties
a. Sent help to the vassals if they were attacked
b. Built castles to defend themselves against attack
c. Could not punish the vassals without good reason
d. If the lord failed to do what he was supposed to, the vassal could break all
ties with him.
D. Vassal’s Duties
a. Served their lord in times of war
b. Gave money to their lords on special occasions such as weddings
c. Gave their lords food and shelter whenever they came to visit
Feudalism Spreads
A. Created by the Franks, but spread to other countries
a. Frankish knights introduced it to Italy, Spain and Germany, eventually
spreads to eastern Europe and England
B. William the Conqueror
a. French noble, was duke of Normandy (region of France) decided to invade
England in 1066
b. Became known as William the Conqueror
c. Defeated the English and declared himself king of England
d. Gave knights land in return for their loyalty
The Manor System
A. Large estate owned by a knight or lord was called a manor
a. Included a large house or castle, pastures, fields and forests
b. Kept 1/3 to 1/2 of the land for themselves
c. The rest of the land was divided among peasants and serfs, workers who
were tied to the land on which they lived.
B. Peasants, Serfs and Other Workers
a. Although not slaves, they could not leave without permission
b. Spent their life working for the lord in exchange for a small piece of land
c. Farm labor was hard, everyone worked, even children
d. Lords wanted people to produce everything they needed, be self-sufficient
C. Manor Lords
a. Controlled everything that happened on their land
b. Resolved disputes and collected taxes form the people
c. Lived better than the serfs and peasants, but still had to worry about war
and disease
D. Women in the Middle Ages
a. Fewer rights than men, obey husbands or fathers
b. Noble women would run the manor during war.
Towns and Trade Grow
A. Most people lived on farms and towns were small; After 1000, things started to
B. Growth of Towns and Trade
a. More people lived in Europe because more food was available
b. New technology, such as a heavier plow and the horse collar, meant that
farmers could be more productive
c. Trade increased as the population grew and trade routes developed across
d. Please began to leave the farms and move to towns to make more money
e. Guilds develop (people who have the same type of job, set prices,
requirements to join the profession)