The Church and The Crusades. Bellwork. Review: In your own words, explain how the Catholic church came to have so much power over the people in the Middle Ages: In your own words, explain how the Catholic church came to be so rich in the Middle Ages:. Cathedrals.
Across the Atlantic, in Central America, the Maya had cleared rain forests and built cities with towering temples. In the Andes of South America, Native Americans were building a great empire. The civilizations of the Americas, however, remained apart from the contacts that were taking place among Africans, Europeans, and Asians.