ERH-205WX-02 Fall 2014 5-Point Sheet for the Middle Ages (Battle of Hastings) Point 1- Feudalism as a system of Rule. Introduced after battle of Hastings 1st under William I. Feudalism used a system of social rank to control Barons who controlled other people. This system made sure that all classes were kept in check over a large area. More effective system of rule than previous systems. Point 2- Medieval Peasants. Peasants typically worked fields owned by their lords growing crops for the lords. The main concerns of the peasant were to pay his taxes and tithe for the church. Peasants lived in thatched roof houses called cruck houses. Point 3- The Magna Carta The document was signed between medieval barons and King John in 1215. The document was an agreement to govern the people according strictly to the feudal system. These agreements were made to make sure that the Barons were involved in major decisions such as taxes and warfare. Point 4- Education in medieval England Education was very expensive in medieval times and therefore peasants could not pay for an education, leaving only the rich to the shares of knowledge. Most education was actually centered in the church; clergymen were some of the more educated people in the region. Latin was taught so that merchants in England could communicate with the Dutch who spoke Latin as well. This was a sort of grammar school. Point 5- Geoffrey Chaucer Chaucer was sent to fight during the Hundred Years War in 1359 and was captured. He was ransomed for a very high price which gives insight into his importance to England. Chaucer worked as a page for many years, and a squire too as well as many other things. Chaucer wrote a novel called ‘Troilus and Criseyde’ that is believed to be the first English novel. Reflections The Middle Ages were a very Violent and dark time. There was a supreme lack of general education and suppression of ideas that countered any traditional beliefs. It makes one wonder how they advanced into the renaissance at all. The “freedoms” that people enjoyed under rule were not even close to what they are now. Where education is required now, one would have been lucky to get any in those days. The victory at the Battle of Hastings united England under King William I and introduced the feudal system. The feudal system made life very hard for the peasants under it and kept their quality of life to very low and limited stature. The system did however allow the King to unite the people into a country and successfully control his people. Education was a luxury of the rich in the middle ages because it was so expensive, and this kind of thing kept the poor from being able to rise. Peasants had nothing to do but work the fields, pay taxes, and go to church. I selected the 5 points that I did because they all are major components to the lifestyle of the period and why things played out the way they did. I chose a picture of the Battle of Hastings, because it was where one of the pivotal battles of the middle ages that shaped events to come.