Western Europe Fall of Rome(476)-1450

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Western Europe – Fall of Rome(476)-1450

  • feudal society  kings granted fiefs (land) to his nobles and lesser lords

  • lords got land return for military service

  • the land remained politically divided

  • had a form of the manorial system

  • by 1000 feudalism began to change to centralized feudalism (England and France being examples) and due to increased trade developed further into centralized monarchies in the late Middle Ages


- three field system brought an agricultural improvement  two fields were used during cultivation, and one was recovering from last seasons growing (began around 900 as part of an Agricultural rev)

  • due to impact from the Crusades and the impact of the Mongols trade increased steadily—merchant class grew larger 1300s..Commercial Revolution

Economic - manorial system ensure that work would get done on farms by the serfs declined by Commercial Rev

- Roman Catholic (main) devotion was common, and often ran deep within an individual had pol, eco and soc power

- 1095 – Human reason was used to prove faith in Thomas Aquinas’ scholasticism

Religion - Pagan practices endured and blended into Christianity

- The Crusades: a series of wars because of the holy land between Muslims and Christians (1095-1291)

1. kings - - -owned all land in empire will begin to alter after 1000 b/c of

Social 2. lords - - - owned manors, owned a lot of land increase in artisan and merchant

3. lesser lords - - - granted some land for military service

4. knights - - - - - chivalry had to be followed by knights

5. serfs - - - - worked the fields on manors

- Gothic Architecture replaced Romanesque by late 1100s

Intellectual - Urban growth kick started more specialized commerce and manufacturing- most literate people were priests and Catholic monks

- by the 12th century universities were developed where students studied law, theology and philosophy

- Christian themes in art and architecture prevailed

- vernacular literature developed which included themes from the past

- architecture followed Roman forms originally Romanesque, but in the 1100’s,

Artistic gothic styles appeared

- secular themes were also present in artwork and writings

  • the black death in 1348

  • The instability of feudal order was clearly shown when France and England became engaged in a major war 100 yrs war

  • inconsistent population – economic decline but the population declined of the black death actually caused economic revival leading to the Renaissance

Decline - didn’t decline but went into next era

-interaction of Crusades and increased trade due to Mongols would cause Italians to gain middlemen status (Italian city-states dominate trade by 1200s) – usurp Constantinople

  • Hanseatic League was created to form an alliance to encourage trade in Northern Europe; worked with Italian merchants

  • Couldn’t compare to the Islamic World and China at the time; Marco Polo would return after 20yrs in the late 1200s and Europe would recover slowly

Global Interaction
- diverse - - covers a lot of land

Geography - contains plateaus, mountains, coastal areas; large plain in the north

-navigable rivers criss-cross the continent – plentiful

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