E. Napp The fall of Rome in 476 A.D. altered the map of Europe. The once great Roman Empire was replaced by hundreds of little kingdoms.
E. Napp It is important to remember that the central government collapsed when Rome fell.
Without a central government, hundreds of kingdoms emerged. These kingdoms frequently went to war with one another. E. Napp
E. Napp Without a central government to collect taxes and maintain an imperial army, life became uncertain.
E. Napp Indeed the Early Middle Ages was a dangerous time.
E. Napp Warfare increased. Education decreased. Danger was everywhere.
E. Napp It was a dangerous time to be a peasant. Poor people turned to rich landowners and their armies for protection.
E. Napp Many peasants became serfs. They worked for lords in exchange for protection and could not leave their lord’s land.
And a new political and military system developed. It was known as feudalism and it involved the exchange of land for military service. E. Napp
Lords owned land. They gave land to their vassals. Vassals had to obey lords and provide military service and loyalty to lords. E. Napp
A fief was all of the Lord’s land. The manor was part of the fief. The manor was the part of the fief where the peasants farmed and the people lived. E. Napp
E. Napp A new economic system developed known as manorialism. Since people lived on the lord’s manor and the manor was self-sufficient, the manor produced all that people needed.
E. Napp In dangerous times, it was safest to stay close to home.