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13.2 Feudalism in Europe. Feudalism, a political and economic system based on land-holding and protective alliances, emerges in Europe. The Dark Ages. Lost Empire. When Rome fell knowledge, law, culture and technology fell with it. The army was lost too leaving the people with no protection.

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13 2 feudalism in europe

13.2 Feudalism in Europe

Feudalism, a political and economic system based on land-holding and protective alliances, emerges in Europe.

lost empire
Lost Empire

When Rome fell knowledge, law, culture and technology fell with it.

The army was lost too leaving the people with no protection.

Europe broke up into a bunch of kingdoms each with their own laws and leaders.

invaders attack western europe map p 359
Invaders Attack Western Europe Map p. 359
  • Magyars and Muslims Attack from the East and South
    • Magyars (Hungarian nomads) invade western Europe in late 800s
    • Muslims strike north from Africa, attacking through Italy and Spain
    • Viking, Magyar, Muslim invasions cause widespread disorder, suffering

People lived in small villages and nearly everyone had to farm to provide enough food. (agriculture!)

If everyone is farmer, there are no artists, lawyers, teachers, etc.

This made the loss of knowledge even worse.


Feudalism- a system of rule where people trade their work for protection

One guy owns the land, another works on it.

Each group of people had specific jobs to complete.


No Roman Empire means no Roman Army.

No army means no protection.

People willingly (usually…) gave up their land to be protected.

It was all about survival.



2. To get nobles to support him the king divides his land and puts nobles in charge of their own area.

1. The King officially owns all of the land of the country. He usually builds a large castle in his capital city.

3. The nobles divide their land and use that to pay knights who then protect the land and serve the king.

4. Peasants are allowed to live on the land and build farms. They pay taxes to the nobles and can’t leave.

5. Taxes ultimately end up going to the king. Peasants work, knights protect, nobles collect, king gets rich.

the king
The King

After Rome fell Europe split up into small states ruled by kings.

They were not elected.

Instead, they were born as kings and considered “chosen by God.”

1 how will you build an army
1. How will you build an army?

All adult males must join.

One male from each family must join.

Volunteers only will join.

2 how will your army be paid
2. How will your army be paid?

With better weapons and armor.

Provided land for farming.

All will share whatever they win in battle.

3 how will your army be used mostly
3. How will your army be used mostly?

“To destroy those who oppose us!”

To conquer new lands to expand the empire.

To protect everyone and help the poor.

4 how can people leave your country
4. How can people leave your country?

That’s a stupid question. Nobody can leave… ever!

People can leave only if they pay a tax.

Anyone can leave whenever they want.

5 how will people get food
5. How will people get food?

Those who need food can join the military to get it.

People will grow their own food.

Food will be given to any who need it.

6 who makes the decisions in your country
6. Who makes the decisions in your country?

“Duh, I do.”

A group of nobles offers choices to the king who makes the final decision.

Everyone, we vote.

7 what about the church
7. What about the church?

“Pssh, the church? What can they do to me?”

The church pays taxes just like everyone else.

The church helps make all decisions.

8 how will you raise money
8. How will you raise money?

“I tax who I want, when I want. We’ll steal the rest.”

Everyone will pay taxes on what they earn.

Only the rich will pay taxes.

9 how will taxes be used
9. How will taxes be used?

To improve the military.

To buy new lands.

To help those who need the most help.

10 what is most important to you
10. What is most important to you?

Power and strength, duh.

Money, money and… oh yeah, money.

Kindness and fairness.

if most of your answers were a
If most of your answers were A…

You are a military dictator.

You only care about the survival of your nation.

So what if a few people get hurt in the process? You made your kingdom powerful!!!


If most of your answers were B…

You are a businessman.

You believe power comes from wealth.

People in your nation must work for any benefits, you’re not running a charity!

You are a peacemaker.

You are more concerned with fairness than the power of your nation.

Safety is important to you but only if life is good too.

If most of your answers were C…

knights warriors on horseback
Knights: Warriors on Horseback
  • Discussed in Ch. 13 sec. 3
    • Leather saddle and stirrups enable knights to handle heavy weapons
    • In 700s, mounted knights become most important part of an army
peasant life

Peasant Life

Peasant - small farmers or farm laborers of low social rank.