Lecture notes - Fort Thomas Independent Schools

Feudalism – political system - monarch & nobles make alliances (land
exchanged for loyalty and military aid*)
Why begun? central government becomes weak *
*Monarch (king) gives land/fief (and peasants/serfs)
Nobles (counts & local officials) give loyalty and military aid
Get land (called fiefs) and the income lets them buy horses and
battle gear*
Nobles can pass land/fief on to heir (sons) – land stays in family
Lords /nobles
Vassal (means each lord serves someone of higher rank)
Peasants/serfs (farmers, artisans*)
Vassal’s pledge
Military aid, # of knights, 40 – 60 days
Serve in lord’s court
Pay ransom
Castle (need picture)
Lots of warfare so 1st begun for protection/defense*
Wood – stone w/ thick walls, towers (turrets)
Moat, drawbridge (major defenses against invaders*)
Keep (square building)
Open area around keep (bailey) includes: barracks, storerooms,
workshops, chapel
Nobility: lords, ladies, knights
Lord – total control; governs manor and castle*
Collected rent from peasants (goods)
Settled conflicts between vassals
Noblewoman/lady – marries father’s choice
Jobs – needlework, making medicines supervise estate*
Tournaments (video)
Mock battles (jousting, sword fighting)
Minstrels (sing, storytelling)
Knight training
7 – page (lord’s assistant)
15 – squire (help knight, learns to use weapons)
Knight – prove self in battle, trained to fight on horseback*
Code of chivalry: defend Christian church, be brave in battle, fight
fair, treat noble women w/ gentleness*
Manorial system – agricultural system – nobles/lords, serfs/peasants get
food, shelter, & protection
Nobles/lords give peasants protection, food, shelter
Serfs/peasants give lord part of what they produce (satisfy lords
material needs)
Some days – laborers (repair roads/bridges)
Farmers (most)
Blacksmith, carpenters, shoemakers, millers, vinters,
Women – make candles, cloth, sew
Serfs – bound to land, but not slaves (can’t be sold w/o land*)
Manor/estate – manor house, fields, woods, village (peasants live)
Increased agricultural production*: 1) PLOW – less time 2) new
system of planting (3 fields vs 2, fallow field – left unplanted*)
Manorial system summary – serfs/peasants get little freedom or
opportunity, but they do get protection/security
Medieval Church – spiritual, political, social leader in Europe
Pope – authority over all Christians
God’s grace earned by sacraments
Service in Latin
People couldn’t read – learned religion from statues, paintings, stained
glass windows (photos)
Pope, bishops, priests (secular – lived “in the world”)
Monks, nuns – live monastic life * (life dedicated to God, apart from
rest of society*)
Monks – cannot own property or marry, must follow monastic
rules (simple clothes, plain food, rule of silence)
Nuns – convent, prayer and making things with hands
Influence of church:
Monks copy religious works and classical writings (preserved
ancient knowledge & religious info alive when few could
Schools, hospitals, food for poor, place for travelers
teach carpentry, weaving, farming
missionaries – results? Mid 1000s most of western Europe is
Magna Carta (Great Charter) – limits absolute power of king*, some trace
our Constitution to this document
King John forced to sign it by his nobles
Why nobles upset? King raised taxes & put enemies in jail w/o trial
What does it do? Puts limits on power of king (no taxes w/o
agreement of a council, freemen guaranteed right to trial by jury)
Originally intended to guarantee rights for nobles, but it came to
guarantee rights for all Englishmen