FEUDAL SYSTEM IN THE MIDDLE AGES

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1 FEUDAL SYSTEM IN THE MIDDLE AGES What led to the creation of feudalism? Nobles needed to defend their lands from invaders and from other nobles and kings. Feudalism is a system of government and a way of organizing society in which land-owning nobles governed and protected the people in return for services, such as fighting in a noble s army or farming the land. LORDS: Were nobles over the knights Gave fiefs (land) to the knights in exchange for the knights service Sent help to the vassals if enemies attacked Had to be fair toward vassals If the lord failed the vassals in any way, the ties could be broken Built castles for security in time of war When the lords went to war, the vassals fought alongside them Very powerful due to their land ownership Clergy and bishops could be lords Lords lived on a large house or castle on the manor All the people who lived on the manor were required to produce everything that the lords needed They controlled everything that happened on the manor; his words were considered the law Collected taxes and determined punishments for crimes

2 KNIGHTS: Were soldiers for the nobles and serfs He was called a vassal if he supported the lord in exchange for land Always remained loyal to the lord Fought alongside their lords during battle They would present gifts of money to the lord for special occasions They offered hospitality to their lord if the lord visited the vassal (food and shelter) They could become a lord if they owned enough land They could be a vassal and a lord They had no time to work their land so they hired peasants to farm the land on the manor estates Some clergy were knights Took an oath called the code of chivalry Coat of arms that distinguished them were worn on their shields, banners, clothing and their horses - Heraldic crests or emblems or designs was passed from one generation to the next Skilled at weaponry and castle warfare Participated in tournaments jousts Page boys 7 to 8 years old; squire boys 13 to 14 years

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4 SKILLED WORKERS: Lived on the manors and later lived in the towns Traded goods and services to peasants in exchange for food They had special skills such as masonry, ironsmith, carpentry, etc (specialization) Sold their wares in the market place and in their shops Shops were identified by the type of sign outside of their business Formed guilds or charters that protected their interests, established fair prices, and rules for their businesses ( considered the first type of union )

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6 PEASANTS: Worked on the land owned by the lords, knights, vassals Gave the lord and knights food or other payment Lived in a village on the manor owned by the lord or knight Most were farmers They were tied to the land on which they lived Not permitted to leave the land without the lord s permission Worked in the fields most of the time- in return they got land to use for their own use Received protection from the lord against outlaws and raiders and war Men farmed; women made clothing, cooked, grew vegetables, gathered firewood, and took care of the children Very difficult lifestyle

7 THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE MIDDLE AGES POPE Spiritual and political leader of the church CARDINALS Advisors to the Pope and helped run the church Bishops Ran the Dioceses (many churches ) PRIESTS Ran individual churches and directly served the laity MONKS AND NUNS Lived in isolated communities; learned to read Latin, grew own food, copied religious texts (manuscripts and Bible) LAITY

8 Daily life revolved around the church. Many made pilgrimages to important shrines. Nobles and church leaders were powerful, wealthy land owners and supported each other Used their power to uphold their teachings Built churches and cathedrals for worship; religious services Copied religious texts to preserve the writings and Latin language Inquisition court set up to find and punish heretics (court of law) (excommunication) Significance of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages Education schools in the cathedrals grew to become universities; monk, missionaries, priests taught catechism classes Provided services for the poor and homeless; hospitals, rest for travelers Crusades - series of religious holy wars to gain back the Holy Land from the Muslims Philosophers and saints: St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Gregory the Great, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Clare, St. Hildegard of Bingen, St. Joan of Arc, etc., etc. Government and state were united (not separated like in the U.S. today). Bishops and clergy could be lords and knights. Advisors to leaders. Tithe 10% to the church. Religious or Monastic orders Benedictines, Franciscans, Dominicans, Cistercians, Poor Clares. Lived by certain rules that the founders established. Artwork, architecture, music, manuscript writing, stained glass windows Icons, Gregorian Chant, Romanesque/Gothic

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