THE MIDDLE AGES

THE MIDDLE AGES - THE MIDDLE AGES Began when Roman Empire...

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THE MIDDLE AGES Began when Roman Empire collapsed in the 6th century AD and ended sometime during the 14th-15th centuries Historians once believed they were a long and bleak era of violence, superstition, and ignorance Big step backwards from achievements of the Ancient World Called them the “Dark Ages” But Middle Ages were not completely “dark” Ancient civilization had reached a ceiling in terms of what it could accomplish Middle Ages represented a new civilization By mingling what was best of the ancient heritage
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Western sphere was hodgepodge of loosely- organized kingdoms that became even more fragmented and decentralized as time went on
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CHARLEMAGNE Frankish ruler Charlemagne (Charles the Great) attempted to overcome this chronic disunity around 800 AD Temporarily created an empire that stretched from France into Eastern Europe Invented title of “Holy Roman Emperor” for
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BREAKUP Empire broke up after his death Due to incompetence of his descendants His failure to set up an administrative system that would keep the empire together without
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MAGYARS Magyars From Central Asia Raided Germany for decades Hit, destroyed, and left Defeated when they tried to invade France and
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VIKINGS From Scandinavia Travelled in low-slung ships which displaced little water Raids began around the time of Charlemagne’s death Escalated with time Favored attacking the weak and defenseless Ultimately established
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A POLITICAL MESS End result was a hopelessly complex jigsaw puzzle of small states Each with its own ruler Often with title of “duke” or “count Nominally owed allegiance to men who retained the
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PROBLEMS Long distance trade virtually disappeared Currency fell into disuse People reverted to barter system Cities shrank
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FEUDALISM Feudalism developed in response to need of local warrior-aristocrats to protect and administer their territory in the absence of any sort of effective central authority It was the grant of a piece of land (fief) by a lord to a subordinate (vassal) in exchange for the vassal’s promise to provide the lord with military service for a specified period of time Subinfeudation
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FORM OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT Also a decentralized form of government As long as a vassal met his obligations to his lord, he was supreme within his fief Made his own laws Enforced them as
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Vast majority of Europeans were peasants Small-scale subsistence farmers who devoted their lives to growing
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This note was uploaded on 01/16/2012 for the course HIST 101 taught by Professor Dr.christopherguthrie during the Fall '10 term at Tarleton.

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THE MIDDLE AGES - THE MIDDLE AGES Began when Roman Empire...

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