The Middle Ages England 1066 -1485 http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=monty+python+modern+trailer&FORM=HDRSC3#view=detail&mid=DE4E72D8CA463FF25F60DE4E72D8CA463FF25F60
1066 William the Conqueror and the battle at Hastings Who was William the Conqueror? William was the illegitimate son of the previous Duke of Normandy (France), who was, in turn, a cousin of King Edward the Confessor. Edward died without an heir, and Harold, the earl of Wessex, was crowned king. But…
William claimed that Edward had promised HIM the throne. So he crossed the English Channel with an enormous army to take what he believed was his. In October, near Hastings, he defeated the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings. http://www.cleanvideosearch.com/media/action/yt/watch?v=G4iMQcz1YDQ
The Normans Change England William wanted to rule the Anglo-Saxons, not eliminate them, so the result was a combination of cultures. To the Anglo-Saxons, the Normans brought administrative ability, an emphasis on law and order, and cultural unity. One administrative feat was to inventory nearly every piece of property in England—land, cattle, buildings—in the Domesday Book. For the first time, taxes were based on what people owned.
And while the Normans didn’t change everything (or England today—and America for that matter—would be parlerFrancais), they did bring about significant governmental and social system changes. William, as well as some of his successors, remained dukes of Normandy while being kings of England. With this power, William divided the holdings of the fallen English landowners among his own followers.
But, the biggest change was to the social structure itself. Enter…
So to recap… King—all-powerful overlord and landowner Vassals—nobles (barons, dukes, earls) who received land (a fief) from the king or other lords, in exchange for loyalty and military service. Knights—armored warriors provided by the vassals for their lords. The bigger the fief, the more knights. Serf—peasants who worked on and were bound to the vassals’ land. They provided food for everyone above them. http://www.cleanvideosearch.com/media/action/yt/watch?v=JvKIWjnEPNY
Speaking of knights… http://www.cleanvideosearch.com/media/action/yt/watch?v=zH6U5y086hw During the early Middle Ages, knights, in addition to carrying a sword and shield, wore a relatively flexible hauberk—a mail shirt made of countless riveted or welded iron rings. Later, with the use of the crossbow, came the need for more protection. Hence, the suit of armor.
Knights were often the sons of noblemen, as a boy’s parents needed to be wealthy enough to buy him a horse, weapons and armor. Training for knights started early, around the age of seven starting with good manners and social skills, and continued for over 10 years. Once a boy’s training was completed, he was dubbed, or ceremonially tapped on the shoulder. Once knighted, he was a man with the title of “Sir” and the full rights of the warrior caste.
Chivalry and Courtly Love Chivalry was a system of codes and ideals governing the behavior of knights and gentlewomen. The rules of chivalry included taking an oath of loyalty to the overlord and observing honorable rules of warfare.
For the knights, adoring a particular lady (not necessarily one’s wife), was seen as a means of self-improvement. This aspect of chivalry was called courtly love, and was, in its ideal form, non-sexual. He might wear his lady’s colors in battle, glorify her in words, and be inspired by her, but she always remained pure and out of reach.
Women in Medieval Society A woman was always subservient to a man, whether husband, father, or brother. Her husband or father’s social standing determined the degree of respect she commanded. For peasant women, life was a never-ending cycle of child-bearing, housework, and hard fieldwork. Women in higher positions were occupied with childbearing and household supervision. http://www.cleanvideosearch.com/media/action/yt/watch?v=iJmI8PlBc34
The Church During the Medieval period, all Christians belonged to the Catholic Church. The pope was enormously powerful and controlled most of the crowned heads of Europe. It also fostered a cultural unity that transcended national cultures of Europe with its system of beliefs and symbols. It continued to be the center of learning. http://www.cleanvideosearch.com/media/action/yt/watch?v=Ra2t3S8jp8w
Thomas à Becket (c. 1118-1170) Thomas had risen to great power under his friend King Henry II (reigned 1154-1189). Henry appointed Thomas to Archbishop of Canterbury (head of the Catholic Church in England), so that Thomas would side with him in disputes with the church. When Thomas didn’t do this, Henry said “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Taking his words literally, four of Henry’s knights murdered Thomas in his own cathedral.
Public outrage at Becket’s murder led to devotion to Saint Thomas the Martyr and created a backlash against Henry, a significant setback for the monarchy in its power struggles with Rome. As a result, the church was open to corruption by clergymen the state was in no position to correct.
Changing Times As the population grew, an increasing number of people lived in towns and cities. In turn, the city classes developed—lower, middle, and upper middle. These merchants lived outside the feudal system, producing a sort of freedom not seen before.
The introduction of commonly accepted coinage, gave the peasants more buying and selling power. Peasants were able to save money instead of trading their services for goods, allowing them to escape their lower class status. The Chivalric Code and ideals of knighthood, were undermined by the emergence of guns and gunpowder, changing the nature of warfare and the necessity of knights. .
Furthermore, the yeoman (small landowner) with his long bow, which could fly over castle walls and pierce the armor of knights, began to replace the need for knights during the Hundred-Years’ war. Yeomen became the new representatives of the English. The ideals of knights and chivalry fell into antiquity, along with the feudal system
The Final Death Blow Finally, the Black Plague, which took place in the middle of the Hundred-Years’ War, struck England in 1348-1349. The plague was highly contagious and spread by fleas and rats, and reduced the population of England by a third, decreasing the amount of available laborers and increasing the bargaining power of the lower classes . http://www.cleanvideosearch.com/media/action/yt/watch?v=grbSQ6O6kbs
England was now ready for a Renaissance. http://www.cleanvideosearch.com/media/action/yt/watch?v=JHFXG3r_0B8