The Early Middle ages

The Early Middle Ages
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HistorySecondary EducationAge 13

This lesson contains 15 slides, with text slides and 1 video.

time-iconLesson duration is: 45 min

Items in this lesson

The Early Middle Ages

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was the event that marked the beginning of the Middle Ages?

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Barbarian Invasions

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Geography of Europe
During the 400s, Germanic groups invaded the Western Roman Empire.
In 476 A.D. the barbarians overthrew the last emperor in Rome and brought the Empire to an End.

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Europe entered a new era called the Dark Ages, or Medieval times.
This was a 1000-year period between ancient and modern times.

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Kingdoms in Western Europe
By 500 A.D., Western Europe was divided into many Germanic kingdoms.
Germanic people in Italy and Spain adopted many Roman ways. However, people who lived farther from Rome held on to more of their Germanic traditions.

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Roman influence was weaker in Britain. After the Roman armies abandoned the area that is today England, Germanic groups known as Angles and Saxons settled there. In time, they became the Anglo-Saxons.

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The Anglo-Saxons pushed aside earlier settlers known as the Celts.
Some Celts fled north and west, others crossed the sea to Ireland.

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Franks in Europe

The Franks were the strongest Germanic group. They settled what is now France and Western Germany.

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King Clovis
In 481, Clovis became king of the Franks.
15 years later, he became the first Germanic ruler to accept Catholic Christianity.
Nearly all of the Franks became Catholic.

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After Clovis, Frankish kings lost much of their power. By 700, power had passed from kings to government officials known as mayors of the palace. This was called "power behind the thrown"

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 At that time the mayor of the palace held and wielded the real and effective power to make decisions affecting the kingdom, while the kings were increasingly reduced to performing merely ceremonial functions, which made them little more than figureheads ( 'do-nothing kings').

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