The contintent of Europe
is actually part of Eurasia, large ladmass that includes both Europe and Asia. Most of this Eurasia is made of peninsula.
The Ural Mountains would be considered the boundry between the two countries. The topography of Europe varies
from place to place. For example, there are mountain ranges in southern Europe that reach high, especially the Alps
which are higher than 15000 feet these are mostly covered with snowfields and glaciers, this place also gets alot of
sun and warmness so trees are common there becase they don't need alot of water; and there is the Northern Europe Plain which
is practically most of Europe, many types of trees, plants, forests, major rivers are located here, but in this place it is
much colder; above the Northern Europe Plain you will encounter many rugged hills and low mountains, this resort is much
much much more freezing than the othr two places so few plants survive in the cold climate. The climates shaped how
the people of that region grew up and lived. In southern Europe the climat was very nice so the people grew very nice
plants, the mountains was a nice retreat for goats and sheep, these people lived close to the sea so they became traders and
seafarmers. But in Northern Europe it was much different. People had to access the sea through northern rivers,
live on rivers, and they were frequently invaded.
Monks and missionaries
helped spread Christianity to knigdoms that were conquered after the fall of the Roman Empire. The head of missionaries
was the Pope. He sent other missionaries to go tell the tale of Christianity. Britian was one of the first places
the pope sent missionaries to go and preach. As a result Britian became Christian, as well as France and Germany.
Saint Patrick took the leadership of telling peole about Christianity into his own hands. Patrick single handedly converted
the whole Irish into his desired religion. In monastaries, monks lived apart from the community doing different things
like praying, work, and meditaton. In the early 500's a set of rules created by an Italian monk named Benedict was inforced
upon these monastaries. This was called the Benedictine Rule but those who followed this were called Benedictine monks.
Not all monks had to follow this code though. The following is what monks had to do:
run schools and copy
books for those who couldn't read or write
collect and save
ancient writings from Greece and Rome
serve as scrides
and advisors to local rulers
aid to the people
in the communities
to new areas
Clergy, church officials, influenced everyone in the church, which is nearly everyone in the Middle Ages. Even
though life revolved around the church, some people wanted to go see more. The places where Jesus lived, where holy
men and women died, and where miracles happened were popular places to go see. The church also gained political
power such as landwhen one died. The church was one of teh largest land owners in Europe. Because of having so
much land, people got unhappy with them. A group of French monks went away from the church and made a monastery called
The Cluny Monastery. Here monks set there own set of rules and daily schedule. These people, called the Cluniac
monks, are made up the religious order. This lead to monks making harder, stricter rules for monks to follow.
The monks had to copy documents, like the Holy Bible, and collect and store ancient texts. Dominic de Guzman and Francis
of Assisi were friars, people who belonged to religious orders but lived and worked among the public, who made two new religious
orders. Friars owned nothing, just like monks, but they lived in the general public and taught Christianity to people,
just like monks.
a group of friars who are in the public
the Magna Carta
In the 480's the Franks
conquered Gaul, today, the region of France. Clovis, the ruler of the period, created one of the strongest kingdoms
in Europe. But they were not satisfied with not only that, they had to be the best. King Charlemagne appeared
in the late 700's. He lead his troops into victory in war, his people into becomiing a huge empire, and his scholars
into teaching at his capital, Aachen. Muslim invaders invaded from the south, Magyars incaded from the east, and Vikings
invaded from the north. The worst out of those three would definitley be the Vikings. They raided Britain, Ireland,
and other parts of western Europe. These people invaded coastal areas because they couldn't get into the midland area
with their ships. Vikings made Europeans fear for their life.
Vikings going into battle
The power of the
Pope and the power of the King grew as they, together, controlled most of Europe. The Pope was the head of the Christian
Church in Western Europe. He had great power because nearly everyone belonged to that church. He would decide
what to teach and preach. He had the power to excommunicate, cast from church, anyone that was working against the church.
If one got excomunnicated, then one would not go to heaven. The Popes also had political power too. They lived
in royalty just like the king.
The King was to rule a
country of Europe. If you ruled the countries of England, France, or The Holy Roman Empire then you would be the most
powerful kings. Most of the kings inherited teh thrones by their father. Some of the time nobles woiuld rebell
but kings would restore order very quickly. The Pope and King sometimes don't see eye to eye. For example, Pope
Gregory VII dissaproved of a bishop that Emperor Henry IV picked. Angry, Gregory excommunicated Henry. Desperate,
Henry went to Ital;y to ask for forgiveness. Gregory refused. Then Henry stood outsid in the fridged snow barefoot!
Gregory accepted andallowed him to return to his job. The Pope had proven himself to be more powerful than the Emperor
in that circamstance.
Emperor Henry IV begging to Pope GregoryVII
The Magna Carta,
rights a king couldn't ignore, was signed in 1215 after a group of nobles decided to force it upon the king. The Magna
Carta means Great Charter. This document required the king to honor specific rights. Habeas corpus, you
have the body, is one of these rights. This means that you can't be throne in jail with out a reason. But
the basic rule is that everyone had to follow the law, even the king. Limiting the king's power was one of the things
that was wanted to be done after this. The Parliament was elected to do such a thing.
Hundred Years' War was
started because a French king died with out any sons. Two men wanted the throne, so they dooked it out. The French
king one over the English king. England was not happy, so they began the war. After 100 years of fighting, a girl
that is the age of teen came into the war and drove the French troops into English grounds. French won and the Hundred
Years' War ended. The king's power fell in teh England country, but rose in the France country.
Soon Fuedalism spread throughout Europe.
William the Conqueror defeated an English king at the Battle of Hastings. To reward his kinghts for their job well done,
he gave them a large estate of land, this is a manor. When a knight recieved fief from his lord, he neede a way
to mantain it. Knights allowed peasants to farm land on their manors. Each manor included a large house or
castle, pastures, firlds, and forests. A village was also there for peasants to live in. The lords kept 1/4 to
1/3 of land for their own use, but hte rest was given to the peasants and serfs, workers who were tied to the land.
These serfs weren't allowed to leace the land with out permission from their lord. Serfs got protection and a small
piece of land in return for their hard work.
Eventhough most people lived on
manors, towns grew huge. One of the reasons why towns increased was because of trade. As trade increased, the
population increased. But the trade hurt the empire too. The fuedalism system was declined because teh knights
were requesting money not land. And the serfs and peasants left their manors for towns.
Later in the Middle Ages, universties
were built. Some of these being built by the church were looking to teach about religion. Others being built
by the students were looking to learn about the world. In Latin, teachers, such as clegry, taught religion, law, medicine,
astronomy, and other courses.
Woman in the Middle Ages had way less rights than men did.
They had to obey their fathers command. But these special people played an important role in their society. They
worked to support their families, ran manor housholds, and supervised servants. They also went to lead the manors while
their husbands went to war. Eleanor of Aquitaine had great political power. She was major in the role of the Empire.
She married King Louis II, but they got divorced. Then she married King Henry II and became the Queen of Engalnd.
She gave birth to some important figures in Europe society like King Richard "Lion Heart" II.
Another influential woman was Joan of Arc. She ended the Hundred Years' War between the Engllish and French.
In the teenage years, she lead the French army to attack the English troops. Unfortunatley she got captured and was
tortured to death, but it was too late. She lead the French into deep. They won!
This was a long series of wars between Christians and Muslims. The yfought over Palestine. They called Palestine
the Holy Land because that's where Jesus lived. A group of Turkish Muslims started to invade the city of Jerusalem.
And then they started to invade teh Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine emperor asked Pope Urban II of the Roman Catholic
Church for help. The Pope put aside their differences and argreed to help them in their time of need. He called
on Christians from all over Europe to take back their Holy Land. By the thousands, people started to join teh
army. As the Crusaders ran into battle with their amor full of crosses, they cried, "God wills it". On their way
to battle, these Crusaders attacked Jews in Germany for the death of Jesus. Unfortunatley, they were invaded by
Turkish troops even before they got into battle. As they walked into Jerusalem, they found that the Muslim army
was disorganized and not ready to fight. As a result, the Crusaders took Jerusalem. In the secound Crusade, Muslim
armies soon sent out troops to take back their land. Because of this, the Christians sent out people to retake land
from the Muslims. This was a total failure. The third Crusade happened after the Muslims retook Jerusalem.
All but one king stayed alive, and his name is King Richard I. Saladin was a brilliant enemy of Richard. They
fought and battled for months untill Richard came back empty handed. The number four crusade had the French knights
not having any money to attack. The knights attacked Zara, a rival city, to gain money. They soon attacked Constantinople
but they were meet by Muslims and outnumbered by their forces. The reasons for their failure:
- Crusaders had to travel huge distances just to reach the war. Many died.
- Crusaders weren't prepared to fight in Palestine's desert climate.
- Christians were outnumbered by their well-led and organized Muslim foes.
- Christian leaders fought among themselves and planned poorly.
The attacks in the
800's were so successful because the king was leaving the nobles in the dust to defend for themselves. But the noblesdidn't
disapoint, they grew in power and were almost as powerful as the king himself. Nobles needed things to defend with,
so they got knights. But there was one problem, there was no armor, weapons, or horses. Those things costed money,
which the nobles didn't have. So instead, the nobles gave the noble knights fiefs, or pieces of land, for their military
services. The noble now became a lord. In return, the knight promissed support for the lord. Now the kinght
is called a vassal. He swore to always remain loyal to his lord. This promise beteween a lord and a vassal is
called feudalism. To protect the lord, they sometimes built a castle around his property. The lord gave the vassal
back up in need of it and he had to treat him fair. If one lord broke this promise, then a vassal could leave.
In return the vassal had to fight with his lord during battle, gave his lord money on special occasions, and give his
lord food and shelter when he visited. If a vassal gained enough fief, he could too become a lord. Well he coulld
become both a vassal and a lord. A vassal wasn't constricted to only one lord, he could be a vassal for many at
Kings and Queens
Kings and Queens were the greatest lords of Europe, and all nobles and knights were their vassals.
Nobles were vassals of kings and queens. Many were also lords of lower-ranking nobles and knights.
Knights served their noble lords in exchange for land.
Peasants owned no land, so they were not part of the fuedal system. But many peasants worked on land owned by nobles
The Black Death
While the Hundred Years' War was going on, the Black Death swept through Eroupe. This plague started from central
and eastern Asia. Traders brought this deadly disease with them as they traveled from place to place to place.
Unknowingly these traders caused the deaths of 25 million people, including the ones that they loved. The Death started
at sea and traveled inward tward central Europe. The disease had a less comon kill rastio if you were inland more.
Unfortunatley the Black Death killed alot of people.
The Black Death killing percents