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02a_European Middle Ages-The Vikings

02a_European Middle Ages-The Vikings

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Published by Anthony Valentin

The invasions that plagued Europe at the close of the Roman period were a testament to the history-altering power of massive human migrations. Such phenomena was not destined to disappear once the Goths and other Germanic peoples settled in their newly conquered territories. The relative stability of the Frankish Kingdom was no match for the next migratory invasion. The Viking incursion would be huge in scope and depth. Following this era, Europe, motivated by fear and the need to compromise, had no choice but to enter the feudal era.

The invasions that plagued Europe at the close of the Roman period were a testament to the history-altering power of massive human migrations. Such phenomena was not destined to disappear once the Goths and other Germanic peoples settled in their newly conquered territories. The relative stability of the Frankish Kingdom was no match for the next migratory invasion. The Viking incursion would be huge in scope and depth. Following this era, Europe, motivated by fear and the need to compromise, had no choice but to enter the feudal era.

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Published by: Anthony Valentin on Feb 09, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/24/2014

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02a_Ch13-European Middle Ages: The Vikings and the Rise of Feudal Europe
 
Timeline:
 8th - 10th C.
FQ:
 Oh Lord, Save Us from the Northmen!
 
Main Idea:
 The invasions that plagued Europe at the close of the Roman period were a testament to the history-altering power of massive human migrations. Such phenomena was not destined to disappear once the Goths and other Germanic peoples settled in their newly conquered territories. The relative stability of the Frankish Kingdom was no match for the next migratory invasion. The Viking incursion would be huge in scope and depth. Following this era, Europe, motivated by fear and the need to compromise, had no choice but to enter a new era. Feudalism, a political and economic system based on land-holding and protective alliances, now emerges in Europe.
 
CCSS
...
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I. Viking Invasions & Movements
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A.
 Causes
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1. Climate Change: Increasing temperatures from a warming trend melted ice-packs and permitted easier sea access to the south.
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2. Trade, a significant source of goods and income for the Vikings, stood to benefit from incursions into the heart of the European continent.
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3. Lucrative trade with Muslim merchants and bumper harvests supported by a warming climate contributed to rapid population growth. Population pressure could be relieved by colonizing other territories.
1
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4. A cultural propensity to go "a-Viking" (raiding) against others who have dishonored them. Christian merchants of Europe may have shunned trade with the 'heathen' Vikings or tried to cheat them when possible.
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B.
 Technology
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1. Longship: Sleek design and shallow draft permitted the vessel to cut through water and sail shallow rivers.
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2. Sword: Innovative design employing a blood groove. It became very popular and destined to influence Europe's medieval sword design.
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3. Battle Axe: The weapon of choice for most Vikings. Cheaper to make and maintain than the sword.
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C.
 Westward Expansion: Not all Viking activities involved ‘looting’. A branch of this Scandinavian movement of people involved maritime expeditions westward. The islands of Iceland and Greenland were colonized in turn (one being more successful than the other). Further excursions reached the North American continent, though permanent settlements were not established. Famous Vikings of the 10th & 11th C...
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1. Erik the Red
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2. Leif Erikson. (son of Erik the Red)
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D.
 Invasions Halt: Several phenomena can explain why the Viking incursions stopped. Among these we could include:
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1. Feudalism: The developing feudal order permitted Europeans to withstand the invasions.2. Christianity: The Christianizing of the Vikings made their former activities less likely (e.g. less likely to ‘sack’ monasteries).
2
 
3. Climatic Change: The climate cooled, thus making sea travel treacherous in the ice-laden North Atlantic.4. The raided wealth, and territories colonized, met the needs of the Vikings that were not destined to become feudal vassals.
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II. Impact of the Vikings
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The Vikings were culturally and racially related to the Germanic peoples south of Scandinavia (current-day Sweden, Norway, Denmark). However, their relative separation from contact with the Roman Empire left the Vikings with more of their native cultural values than their southern brethren. Hence, the

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