Middle Ages


Middle Ages

Feudalism was a system of government in which nobles, lords, ruled much of Europe.

Squire – Knight – Lord – King

A knight was expected to be loyal and true to the lord who knighted him. His lord, in turn, was loyal to a more powerful lord. That lord might be loyal to a king. This type of government depended on each person’s loyalty to those who had more land and wealth. Each knight and lord was also supposed to watch over the people in his care, who were less powerful.

This type of government came about because it filled the need of communities for protection during the Middle Ages.

Ancient Times – Middle Ages – Modern Times

Middle Ages = Medieval Times

1. Apprentice: an unpaid worker who is being trained in a craft.

2. Feudalism: as system of power in Europe in which the Kings and

Queens had the most power, followed by nobles, knights, and peasants.

3. Chivalry: the noble qualities of a knight.

4. Crusades: military expeditions to win control of the Holy Land from the Turks.

5. Manor: A large estate that is owned by a lord.

6. Serf: a person considered to be part of the land.

7. Selling Indulgences: an indulgence is the remission of the temporal punishment due to God for sin. Selling of these was common practice by the Catholic Church, corruption that led to reformation.

8. Excommunication: the act of banishing a member of a church from the communion of believers and the privileges of the church; cutting a person off from a religious society.

9. Martin Luther : A German Priest who disagreed with the

Corruption of the Church. Nailed a list of the Wrongs the

Church had committed onto the Roman Catholic Church’s Door.

10. Renaissance: the burst of learning that started in the 1300’s till about 1600

11. Reformation: a time when the Church was forced to change its ways.

12. Lutherans and Protestants: formed after the reformation.

For safety and for defense, people in the Middle Ages formed small communities around a central lord or master. Most people lived on a manor, which consisted of the castle, the church, the village, and the surrounding farm land. These manors were isolated, with occasional visits from peddlers, pilgrims on their way to the Crusades, or soldiers from other fiefdoms.

In this "feudal" system, the king awarded land grants or "fiefs" to his most important nobles, his barons, and his bishops, in return for their contribution of soldiers for the king's armies. At the lowest echelon of society were the peasants, also called "serfs" or "villeins." In exchange for living and working on his land, known as the "demesne," the lord offered his peasants protection.

The Catholic Church was the only church in Europe during the Middle

Ages, and it had its own laws and large coffers. Church leaders such as bishops and archbishops sat on the king's council and played leading roles in government. Bishops, who were often wealthy and came from noble families, ruled over groups of parishes called "diocese." Parish priests, on the other hand, came from humbler backgrounds and often had little education. The village priest tended to the sick and indigent and, if he was able, taught Latin and the Bible to the youth of the village.

Feudal System