Middle Ages: Politics & governance

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GeschiedenisMiddelbare schoolhavo, vwoLeerjaar 1

This lesson contains 25 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 1 video.

time-iconLesson duration is: 40 min

Items in this lesson

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Early Middle Ages

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Troubled times in Europe

  • There were many wars after the fall of the Western Roman Empire
  • Traveling was dangerous so most people lived in (small) villages, trading over long distance stopped.
  • Big cities, like Rome, were not there (anymore)

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Charlemagne / Charles the Great
King of the Frankish Empire

Such a big empire ... that was difficult to manage!

But why actually?

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Huge distances in the realm (difficult to defend)
Bad roads and bridges
Bad communication (all by horse and letter)
No money (only trading goods)

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Solutions of Charlemagne:
1. Karel and his court moved from castle to castle (sleepovers!)
2. Feodalism

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A feudal lord divides his kingdom into pieces. He has each piece steered by a vassal. The vassal may do whatever he wants on the piece of land (a loan), but he must:
1. swear allegiance to the king
2. govern and administer justice
3. pay tax every year
4. help in the wars of the king

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feodal lord:

The loan (the land) that the vassal gets 'on loan'.
The Four Duties of a Loaner:
1.He had to swear allegiance to the king;
2.He had to administer his territory and administer justice there;
3.He had to pay taxes to the king annually;
4.When there was war in the Empire, he had to fight with his own soldiers in the king's army.
The vassal swears allegiance to his feudal lord, Charlemagne.

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The Frankish Empire falls apart:
  • After the death of Charlemagne and his son Louis, the empire was increasingly divided and divided and divided ...
  • The nobles who ruled these areas sometimes "forgot" that they still had this area officially on loan from their feudal lord!

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What is a disadvantage of the feudal system?
The borrowed land was seen as property by the lender
The king had too little land to lend
There were too few vassals
After Charlemagne, the loan system disappeared

Slide 15 - Quiz

What is a good example
of the feudal system?
The king rules his country all by himself.
The king has ministers who advise him on the governance of his country.
The king has nothing to say about the government of his country.
The king has divided his land into twenty parts. Each piece is controlled by a friend of his.

Slide 16 - Quiz

What duty does a vassal have?
He should do whatever he likes in his area.
He has to get up early every morning.
He must pledge allegiance to his liege lord.
He must lend parts of his territory to subcontractors.

Slide 17 - Quiz

This image from the thirteenth century promises
a feudal loyalty to Charlemagne.

Is this statement right or wrong?
The man on the far left of the picture
is Charlemagne

Slide 18 - Quiz

Late Middle Ages

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Slide 20 - Video

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