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Middle Ages

From Darkness to Light

The Middle Ages
Main Ideas
• The Christian Church influenced nearly every aspect of
society in the Middle Ages.
• Feudalism (political) and Manorialism (economic) systems
governed life in the Middle Ages.
• The period after 1000 was a time of great changes in
medieval society.
The Christian Church & the Middle
The Middle Ages in Europe lasted from about 500 to
about 1500.

The Middle Ages are also known as the medieval period.

Nearly everyone in Europe in the Middle Ages was

Christian. Europeans felt tied together by their beliefs.

Almost no part of life in Europe was unaffected by the

Christian church and its teachings.
The Church’s Roles
Politics Art Daily Life
• Church leaders • Most art in the • People’s lives
were also Middle Ages often centered
political was influenced around their local
leaders. by the church. church.
• The pope, the • Art, literature, • Markets, festivals,
head of the and music dealt and ceremonies
church, was one with religious were held in
of the most themes. churches.
powerful people
• A new style of • Priests advised
in Europe.
architecture people on how to
• The pope even called Gothic live and kept
had the power architecture written records
to start wars, was used for for them.
such as the large churches.
A Medieval Monastery: The
Political and Economic in the
Middle Ages.
Feudal System
• Political system based on exchange of land for military
• Nobles gave land to knights.
• Knights promised to serve nobles loyally, especially in
war. System

• Economic system centered on large estates called

• Nobles owned manors but needed workers.
• Peasants and serfs lived on the manor and worked the
fields. In exchange for a place to live, they gave the
noble most of the harvest.
A political, economic, and social
system based on loyalty and
military service.
The Road to Knighthood



The Medieval Manor
Towns and Trade

Not everyone in Europe lived on manors. Some

lived in towns, which were usually small, dirty,
and dark.
Many people who lived in towns worked as
After the year 1000 trade increased dramatically.
As trade grew, more people moved to cities. As
cities became larger, they became centers of
culture and wealth.
Self Sufficient ( Don’t need anyone else!)