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Meet the Middle Ages. 1066-1485 AD. Feudalism (pgs 114-119). 1. How did it start?. William, the Conqueror, a Norman, invaded England and established it in 1066. Feudalism (pgs 114-119). 2 . What was it?.

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Feudalism(pgs 114-119)

1. How did it start?

William, the Conqueror, a Norman, invaded England and established it in 1066


Feudalism(pgs 114-119)

2. What was it?

A social system that assigned an economic, political, and social position to everyone at birth.


Feudalism(pgs 114-119)

3. What was the result?

All land was owned by the king who

then gave it to

lords and



Feudalism was an all-encompassing social system, influencing every part of society. It was a caste system, property system, and military system all wrapped up in one.


Feudal Relationships(pg 119)

5. King:


over-lord and landowner,

highest in the

social hierarchy

a. Modern comparison?


Feudal Relationships(pg 119)

6. Vassal:

Someone who received land in exchange for military service and other expressions of loyalty.

a. Modern comparison?


Feudal Relationships(pg 119)

7. Lord:

Had the power to grant land to vassals. Lords could also be vassals to other lords.

a. Modern comparison?


Feudal Relationships(pg 119)

8. Knight:


warriors who

fought on

behalf of their

lords. Knights

belonged to their

lords, not to the king.

a. Modern comparison?


Feudal Relationships(pg 119)

9. Serfs:

Peasants who could not own land, but were doomed to work the land for their lords. Indentured servant who were considered a part of the land they worked. (Lowest in the hierarchy)

a. Modern comparison?


Women in Medieval Society (pg 122)

10. Place in Society

Women were always subservient to a man whether a husband, father, or brother. Her husband’s place dictated how much respect she could command.


Women in Medieval Society (pg 122)

a. Peasant wives:

Having children, doing all the housework, and hard labor in the fields


Women in Medieval Society (pg 122)

b. Vassal and Lord wives:

Responsible for having children and household supervision


Women in Medieval Society (pg 122)

c. Highest of lord and royalty wives:

Having children,

watching over

household, and

may manage

entire estate, but only when husband was away.


Compare how women of the Middle Ages were treated compared to do day.

11. How is the treatment


12. How is it different?


Chivalry and Romance (pg 122-123)

13. What is chivalry?

It is a system of ideals and social codes governing behavior of knights and gentlewomen. (Aka “courtly love”)


Chivalry and Romance (pg 122-123)

a. The rules of chivalry include:

Taking an oath of loyalty to the overlord and observing certain rules of warfare (i.e. never attacking an unarmed opponent.)


The Knights Code of Chivalry described in the Song of Roland :

  • To fear God and maintain His Church
  • To serve the liege lord in valour and faith
  • To protect the weak and defenceless
  • To give succour to widows and orphans
  • To refrain from the wanton giving of
  • offence
  • To live by honour and for glory
  • To despise pecuniary reward
  • To fight for the welfare of all
  • To obey those placed in authority
  • To guard the honour of fellow knights
  • To eschew unfairness, meanness and
  • deceit
  • To keep faith
  • At all times to speak the truth
  • To persevere to the end in any enterprise
  • begun
  • To respect the honour of women
  • Never to refuse a challenge from an equal
  • Never to turn the back upon a foe

Code of Chivalry


Chivalry and Romance (pg 122-123)

b. Central idea of chivalry:

Purity. An adoring lady would make a knight braver. The knight might wear his lady’s colors in battle and/or he might glorify her in words. The knight would always treat his lady better than himself. Their relationship was always pure.


Chivalry and Romance (pg 122-123)

14. What was the affect of chivalry on women and society?

It didn’t change women’s position in society, but

it did birth a

new genre of




15. Do you think that chivalry is dead? Why or why not?

Love Songs

(Ms. Fincher’s TN example)


Role of the Church

16. What kind of relationship did the church have with the people?

  • The church dominated people’s lives:
    • People heard of the horrific fires of hell weekly and feared the Catholic authority
    • They believed the only way to Heaven was if the Catholic Church let them (be a member)
    • Peasants worked free on church land which made it difficult for them to work for pay

Role of the Church

17. Paying for the faith—what did the people pay for?

  • Forgiveness*—buying pardons
  • Tithing* (10%)
  • Baptism*
  • Marriage*—people didn’t live together outside of
  • marriage (and sex outside of marriage was a deadly sin)
  • Burial*—you only went to Heaven if you were buried
  • on holy land (the church owned it)
  • Relics*—usually pieces of bone, said to have
  • belonged to saints

*Mandatory in order to avoid going to Hell


Examples of Relics

St. Catherine


18. Does the church still have this sort of power?


The Crusades (pg 124-125)

19. What were the crusades?

A series of holy wars waged by European Christians against Muslims.


The Crusades (pg 124-125)

20. When and how did they start?

1095, Pope Urban II sent out a plea to Christians. He said it was their duty to wage

war against



Jerusalem and

other Middle

Eastern areas.


The Crusades (pg 124-125)

21. What was the result?

Europeans slaughtered thousands of Jews and Muslims, including children. Although a terrible mission, Europeans were exposed to Eastern mathematics, astronomy, architecture, and crafts which are seen in Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales”.


The Black Death(pg 128-129)

23. What was “The Black Death”?

Aka “Bubonic plague” hit England

hard. It was



and was

spread from

infected rats.

The disease

was horrifying.


The Black Death(pg 128-129)

24. What was the result?

  • The plague reduced the nation’s population by a third—causing a labor shortage and giving the lower class more bargaining power
  • Ultimately, this broke feudalism’s back—freeing peasants/serfs from the land they worked on


Extra Credit

Why is it important to learn about the Middle Ages?