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Development of European Feudalism. From the Moldboard Plow to the Crusades. European divisions. Europe Galileo’s (1564-1642) defense of Copernican astronomy banned by Church In Germany, Protestant Kepler continues Copernican studies

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development of european feudalism

Development of European Feudalism

From the Moldboard Plow

to the Crusades

european divisions
European divisions
  • Europe
    • Galileo’s (1564-1642) defense of Copernican astronomy banned by Church
    • In Germany, Protestant Kepler continues Copernican studies
  • > Political and religious divisions favor continuation of science (and emergence of capitalism)
european period of warring states
European Period of Warring States
  • No unifying State after Charlemagne
    • crowned emperor by Pope Leo III on Christmas day, CE 800; d. 814
  • Period of warring states of Europe: 1100 years
    • Attempts by Spain in 16-17th c.
    • By France under Napoleon: early 19th c.
    • By Germany under Hitler: 20th c.
    • > 21st century: European Union
  • Merchants grow stronger between divided state powers in Europe
    • In England, France they ally with King against feudal lords
advantages of division
Advantages of Division
  • In large centralized states, the ruler can stop the merchants: China, Ottoman Empire
  • But not where states are divided: weakly centralized feudal states: India and Europe
  • In Feudal India, merchants are stymied by caste taboos against warfare
  • But European merchants fight to defend their independence of feudal lords
importance of feudalism
Importance of feudalism
  • 1) Why Europe? > because of capitalism
  • 2) Why capitalism? > because of feudalism
  • 3) Next question: why feudalism?
new european state
New European State
  • Charlemagne crowned emperor by Pope Leo II on Christmas day, 800
  • = Unity, partnership of Church and State
  • But by 900 this new united empire has basically disappeared.
  • >New social arrangement of Medieval European feudalism.
  • Why did this all-European state fall apart?
why did a feudal society emerge in europe
Why did a feudal society emerge in Europe?
  • Why did Charlemagne’s all-European state fall?
  • Why did civilization develop so late in Europe?
  • Nature of early European technology
  • Social relations of production
  • Political consequences
  • Critique of medieval Christian religion – St. Francis of Assisi returns to the teachings of Jesus
1 superficial conquests
1 Superficial Conquests
  • Charles Martel (the Hammer) stops Muslim invasion in France – 732
  • Grandson Charles the Great (the Big and Tall) – Charlemagne – crowned king of France-Germany in 800
  • >First and only All-European State
  • How big was Charlemagne’s army?
how big was charlemagne s army
How big was Charlemagne’s army?
  • Number of soldiers: 5,000
    • Aided by spiritual power of Church
  • Muslim armies: over 100,000 soldiers
fall of early european states
Fall of Early European States
  • Division at death of Charlemagne into three parts
  • United still, with allegiance to the Pope
  • Why did this first and only all-European state fall?
power of the viking raiders
Power of the Viking Raiders
  • Viking (Scandinavian Norsemen) raids:
  • Main weapon
    • Longboats can carry 50 warriors
    • 3 foot draft
    • Rapid attack on villages and retreat
  • Powerlessness of king’s centralized army to stop them
  • Who can stop them?
solution knight in shining armor
Solution: Knight in Shining Armor
  • New fighting technology
    • Large horse
    • Lance
    • Stirrup
  • Need to be located close to all villages
    • Small local armies of knights
    • Life-long training required
  • What is the only way to defeat this weaponry?
social basis of knighhood manor system
Social basis of Knighhood: Manor System
  • 1) Serfdom arises during Roman period
    • Slaves had become too expensive as the empire stopped expanding
    • Serfs were cheaper, worked harder because they shared with the landlord in the wealth they produced
  • But northern territories beyond the empire involved free agricultural villages
    • Explanation for this is given below
why peasants chose to abandon their freedom
Why peasants chose to abandon their freedom
  • 2) Free villages “enserf” themselves to Lord for protection from raiders
    • Peasants’ “voluntary” surrender of freedom
    • Lord’s “noblesse oblige”
  • Exchange product, labor for defense
  • Land, produce divided:
    • e.g., 2/3 for peasants, 1/3 for lord
european feudalism
European feudalism
  • Thousands of little feudal states, each with its own set of laws
  • Loose hierarchy among lords: “vassalage”
    • Voluntary “pledge of allegiance” to higher lord, King
  • >Vikings defeated
  • And also triumph
    • Norsemen (Northmen) rule “Normandy”
    • Conquer England in 1066
2 why was europe late
2 Why was Europe late?
  • Europe inherits past technology of all history (=advantage of being late)
  • Europe’s natural agricultural potential
    • Rich farming land
    • Mild climate, rainfall
    • Compare to Arabian desert, China’s 1/12 arability
  • Until 500 CE: covered in forests
    • Why not clear the forests?
the ecological problem
The ecological problem
  • Rich soil but heavy with clay
    • Too hard to plow with traditional “scratch plow”
  • Rain, but at the wrong time and too much
    • Spring rains drown young wheat plants
  • Hence, planting on sides of hills
    • Water drains more easily
    • Chalky soil easier to cultivate
3 solution the moldboard plow
3 Solution: the Moldboard Plow
  • About 500 CE among German tribes
  • Three blades
    • Vertical: Plowshare (colter)
    • Horizontal: Ear
    • Curved moldboard
  • Heavy – drawn by up to 8 oxen
  • Furrow – direction of slope to river
  • Plowland – mound between two furrows
  • > Natural drainage, Long acre
technological approach again
Technological approach again
  • Recall Antigone: passage about “wonder” of man with animal-drawn plow
  • Compare to China’s rice production
  • Extension of technological approach, magnified: power over nature
  • Beginning of approach that culminates in the industrial revolution
4 social production
4 Social Production
  • New problem: High cost of plow for poor peasants
  • Solution: share animals, labor between members of community
  • Result: continuity of ancient communal/ cooperative mode of production of early kinship groups
  • Impedes internal division of peasant farmers into rich and poor (as in Greece and Rome)
social consequences
Social consequences
  • 1) 500-800 Free independent agricultural villages
    • System of dividing the land equally among peasant families (village cooperation)
  • 2) 900- Charlemagne’s weakly unifed empire fails due to Viking invasions
  • 3) Feudal system provides protection
    • Cooperative villages under local feudal rulers (elected peasant leader deals with feudal lord)
into the modern age
Into the modern age
  • 4) 1700 - => Cooperative work in manufactories, factories
    • Capitalism is a system of cooperative production and individualistic ownership
      • The merchant/capitalist replaces the feudal lord
      • The free worker replaces the serf
      • Workers continue to work in a cooperative system: as in a factory
break question
Break question
  • Recall the initial question of this course:
    • Can differences between civilizations be explained without supposing biological causes?
    • E.g., Hitler’s argument that the European race is a super race
  • The question, Why did Europe become the dominant world power in the last 500 years?
  • Has this course adequately explained this fact in terms of non-biological causes?
5 political problem and solution
5 Political problem and solution
  • Problem: What to do with a system of warrior knights and no one to fight?
    • Knights will fight each other: implosion
  • “Solution”: Pope Urban II calls for Crusade to fight Muslim “infidels” and capture Jerusalem.
    • 8 Crusades (1095-1291)
  • Political aspect: strengthens the power of Pope as leader of united Europe
    • Church, monasteries: biggest feudal landowner
first victims of crusades european jews
First Victims of Crusades: European Jews
  • “Look now, we are going to seek out our profanity and to take vengeance on the Ishmaelites for our Messiah, when here are the Jews who murdered and crucified him. Let us first avenge ourselves on them and exterminate them from among the nations so that the name of Israel will no longer be remembered or let them adopt our faith.”
    • Holy War, by Karen Armstrong, p. 73
6 st francis of assisi 1181 1226
6 St. Francis of Assisi (1181 – 1226)
  • Rejects wealth of his family
  • Follows the way of Jesus (Imitation of Christ)
    • Adopt strict poverty
    • Not seek spiritual salvation in rich monasteries
    • But go to the people and walk the talk
  • Recall four stages of religion
    • St. Francis: 4th stage: the reformer who evokes the words of the Founder against the external religion created in the name of the Founder (3rd stage)
what does the bible say
What does the Bible say?
  • “. . . The Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two . . . Into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. . . ‘Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. Carry neither money bag, sack, nor sandals . . . And whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.” Luke 10;1 . . . 9
historical impact
Historical Impact
  • “[T]he new wealth and power of their Church offended some Roman Catholics, and the challenged the Church to live up to its early ideals of compassion for the poor and simplicity in everyday living. New orders of priests and of nuns began to form as a way of returning to those ideals: Franciscans following the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi” Spodek 433
the heresy of poverty
The heresy of poverty
  • The Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco)
    • Film, starring Sean Connery
  • Franciscans, other sects adopting poverty, seen as dangerous revolutionaries
    • Church condemns dangerous heresy: that Jesus demanded poverty of his followers
  • Jesus: “Consider the lilies of the fields and the birds of the air …”