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WESTERN CHRISTENDOM: REBUILDING IN THE WAKE OF THE ROMAN COLLAPSEB. SOCIETY AND THE CHURCH1.Feudalism and Serfdom: When Roman authority collapsed, an ad hoc political and military system developed as the political, economic, and social power of isolated land estates or manors fell into the hands of wealthy warriors. As these warrior elites were in constant competition with each other, lesser knights and lords swore loyalty to the stronger warriors. Frequently they would receive land and loot for their military service. While the slavery of the Roman Empire faded away, peasants were increasingly not personal property but were tied to the land on which they worked and not free to leave. In return for access to land, they had to pay some of their crops and other produce to the lord. In return they also received protection.
2. Role of the Church: The Roman Catholic Church, with its hierarchical organization of priests, bishops, and cardinals, was the only surviving institution of the Roman past. Its organization allowed it to administer the faith, in Latin, and also to amass wealth via taxation.
3. Spreading the faith: The church worked to convert pagan Europeans to Christianity in a long and sometimes slow process. Often pagan practices, sites, and holidays were remade as Christian rituals, churches, and sacred days. On occasion, force was used to spread the faith.
4. Conflicts between church and state: With the church being the only pan-European institution and relatively weak kings eager to build power within their realms, secular-sacred tensions flared over wealth and the right to appoint bishops.
THE AVIGNON PAPACY1309-1377THE PAPAL PALACE IN AVIGNON, FRANCE
WESTERN CHRISTENDOM: REBUILDING IN THE WAKE OF THE ROMAN COLLAPSEC. ACCELERATING CHANGE IN THE WEST1.New security after 1000: After centuries of Muslim, Viking, and Magyar attacks, security settled into Europe.2. High Middle Ages (1000–1300): This era of economic, political, and demographic growth is known as the High Middle Ages.3. Revival of long-distance trade: Essential to economic growth was the revival of trade routes. Regional routes connected the British Isles to the coast and onto the Baltic Sea, rivers connected the coasts to the interior, and the cities of the Mediterranean
4. Urbanization and specialization of labor: Substantial growth in the cities saw a specialization of labor and professions. Guilds served as a method of organizing and monitoring specific professions.5. Territorial kingdoms, Italian city-states, and German principalities: With the new security and economic growth, the states became more powerful. Some kingdoms in the northwest developed large land bases while commercially vibrant city-states characterized Italy and numerous small states dominated the German lands.