Chat with us, powered by LiveChat After learning about the High Middle Ages and the growth and progress of western society (Chapter 8 lecture), answer the following question. Follow the directions carefully in order to rec | Wridemy

After learning about the High Middle Ages and the growth and progress of western society (Chapter 8 lecture), answer the following question. Follow the directions carefully in order to rec


After learning about the High Middle Ages and the growth and progress of western society (Chapter 8 lecture), answer the following question. Follow the directions carefully in order to receive full credit. 

Chapter 8 Lecture Question:

In this lecture, we discussed the many positive developments that Europeans enjoyed beginning around 1000 CE. However, some historians have suggested that the crusades, far from being positive, were an immoral stain on the history of Western Civilization. Do you think that the crusades were generally positive or negative events in history?

Directions for Answering the Question:

  • Using information from the lecture, 
    1. Explain what the crusades were
      • Offer a definition of the crusades (make sure to explain what they were in the Middle Ages)
      • Explain when the crusades started (you can state the exact date or the century) 
    2. Identify and describe the three developments that contributed to the start of the crusades
      • Make sure to fully describe these developments. Don't just list them.
    3. State whether or not you believe the crusades were generally positive or negative events in history.
    4. Use specific information and examples from the lecture to fully explain your position and ideas.

Important Rules for all Lecture Questions:

  • Only use information from the lecture to answer the question. These questions are intended to check that you watched and understood the lecture. If you use information from an outside source/s, your assignment will receive a zero.
  • Fully explain your statements and include specific examples from the lecture. 
  • Explain all information in your own words. Do not quote or copy and paste from the lecture or my powerpoint. Doing so will earn your assignment a zero.
  • Use good grammar, including complete sentences and correct punctuation. You may use bullet points, but the information you write out beside those bullet points should be complete sentences, not single words or sentence fragments. 

In my last lecture, we talked about the development of three civilizations that would come to

form the basis of medieval culture and eventually the modern world. I explained how

Charlemagne came to control most of the former barbarian lands of Western Europe and

succeeded in linking his empire both to the Roman Catholic Church and the former Roman

Empire. In this lecture, I want to look at what happened in Western Europe in the centuries

following Charlemagne. During this time, between the 10th and 12th centuries, Europeans

endured a range of experiences from anarchy created by new barbarians to great progress that led

to the rise cities, capitalism, and great power for the popes.

[SLIDE] Let’s start with our questions: We’re going to ask how manors and cities developed

between the 10th and 12th centuries, what three elements contributed to the start of the crusades at

the end of the 11th century, and how the popes gained power between the 11th and 13th centuries.

[SLIDE] Let’s return back to Charlemagne and the 9th century for just a moment. Now, even

though Charlemagne had been an excellent and skilled ruler, his sons and grandsons were not.

When Charlemagne died, his son Louis the Pious, divided the kingdom among three sons, who

were bad rulers. This division, and their inability to rule effectively, resulted in the disintegration

of Charlemagne's empire and the end of the Carolingian dynasty. In fact, the very names of the

later Carolingian rulers give a clue to the emperor's decline. A few of these rulers were named

Charles the Bold, Charles the Fat, and Charles the Simple. [SLIDE] In addition to bad rulers,

however, the power of the Carolingian kings also declined because of the invasion of the new

barbarian group. The Vikings.

In the 9th and 10th centuries, new polytheistic barbarian groups raided the Christian heart of

Europe. All of these different polytheistic barbarians, the most important were the Vikings. The

Vikings were from the Scandinavian region. They were a warrior people, and superb

shipbuilders and sailors. [SLIDE] Viking ships were the best at the time. They were long and

narrow with beautifully carved arched prows that were often decorated in the shape of dragons.

These ships could carry about 50 men. They had oars as well as of a single great sail. And the

shape of these ships meant that they were not only going for the open sea, but they could also go

up rivers. [SLIDE] This allowed the Vikings to attack towns and cities on the shore as well as

inland. Viking raids became regular and really devastating in Europe in the 9th century. Viking

sacked villages, towns, destroyed churches, and easily defeated small local armies. Vikings

attacked and took over places in Ireland and England. The area of Belgium, Germany and

France, and even in Northwestern Russia. They made contact with the Byzantine Empire and

Islamic civilization both as traders and invaders. The Vikings were daring explorers. [SLIDE]

They sailed westward and reached Iceland in 874 CE, and Greenland in 985 CE. Archaeologists

have actually found Viking sites as far west as Newfoundland on the North American continent.

This means that the Vikings found the American continent centuries before Christopher


[SLIDE] When Charlemagne's empire fell apart, and the Vikings and other barbarians began to

invade Europe, people realized that the kings were too weak and too ineffective to protect them.

So they created a new system of relationships. Instead of rulers, people turned to local warlords

who had the money, the weapons, the armies and the castles necessary to protect people. In the

9th and 10th centuries, these warlords became known simply as lords, and their dependents those

people they protected, were called vassals. In exchange for protection, vassals promised their

service and their loyalty to the Lord. Lords frequently called on their vassals for military service,

to resist invaders, or to fight with other lords. Often, the Lord also gave his vassal a piece of land

to farm– called a fief– as a source of revenue, to pay for the vassals armor, weapons, and horse.

All three of these were necessary for an effective soldier known as a knight. This new system of

production and service between lords and vessels was known as feudalism. And it's spread

throughout Europe in the 9th and the 10th centuries. Some vassals became powerful themselves,

and, in turn, took on vassals for themselves. You can think of feudalism as a sort of political

pyramid scheme. Due to the establishment of feudalism, the power and wealth of the lords of

Europe often rivaled that of actual kings. In order to keep these powerful lords in their place,

kings in the 9th and the 10th centuries developed the concept of divine right. Divine right meant

that kings received their power to rule from God. By portraying themselves as chosen by God to

rule, kings discouraged lords from trying to rise up and overthrow the current kings. It was really

bad to go against God's will.

[SLIDE] Towards the end of the 10th century, however, life became less chaotic and much easier

for people living in Western Europe. And as a result, between the years of about 1000 and 1300,

the population of Western Europe nearly doubled. Within 300 years, it increased from 38 million

people to 74 million people, and it increased for three primary reasons. First, the Vikings and

other new barbarian groups stopped invading around the year 1066 CE. This meant that people

felt more secure. They stopped thinking that they were going to be attacked at any minute, and

people who feel safer tend to reproduce more. Second, beginning around 1000, Europe

experienced a slight increase in temperature. This increase in temperature made for longer and

better growing seasons. And third, Western Europe experienced an agricultural revolution.

People developed new ways to grow more crops, which provided people with more food.

Because of the rise in temperature and agricultural innovations, people ate more and better, and

were generally healthier and lived longer.

[SLIDE] Let's look closer at the agricultural revolution of the Middle Ages. This revolution was

a result of new farming technology. Prior to the year 1000, people were using a lightweight plow

made of wood. This plow had been invented in the region of the Middle East, where soil is a lot

looser and less dense. But in Western Europe, the soil is heavy and dense, so this lightweight

plow had really only been effective at breaking the top layer of soil. Around the year 1000,

though, people developed a heavier plow made of iron. This iron plow could get into the clay

soil of Western Europe and make it more workable for crops. People also invented things that

made it possible to work the soil quicker. For example, they started using horseshoes, which

gave horses more traction to pull the heavy plows. And they also invented new plowing

harnesses that made it easier for horses and oxen to pull those heavy plows without choking.

People in this time period also learned how to use the power of water and wind. Europeans began

to use watermills and windmills, which could be used to grind grain quicker, and produce more

flour that could be turned into bread.

[SLIDE] As I’ve mentioned, the more effective production of food contributed to an increase in

the number of people in Europe. More food led to a bigger population. And in turn, more people

required more food. It was a big cycle. The lords of Western Europe– who owned most of the

land– saw this as an economic opportunity, and they began to grow more crops for profit. But of

course, a lord was just one person. In order to grow more food and turn a profit, he needed a

labor force to plant and harvest the food. Around the year 1000, lords began to lease their lands

to peasants in the area. Peasants were normally people of the lowest social class. Peasants who

leased land from local lords became known as serfs. These people were farm the land and give

the lords a percentage of their crops, in return for having a place to live, and they would get to

keep a portion of their crops for themselves. The land that the lord owned and leased to serfs was

known as a manor. This manor system was very profitable for lords. They essentially made

money without having to do anything. Over time, the manor system became an aggressive form

of servitude. Serfs weren't slaves, but lords made it so that their serfs weren't allowed to leave the

land they farmed. And serfs generally didn't have a lot of freedom to live their lives as they

wanted to. [SLIDE] But even though all serfs were peasants, not all peasants were serfs. Some

peasants owned their own land and farmed it for their own meager profits. As the population

increased in the 11th century, peasants– as well as lords– began to look for more land to farm.

These peasants and lords and their families expanded into new, previously un-farmed land. They

cut down trees and drained swamps, creating new places to farm food and feed the growing


[SLIDE] As the population grew and people developed more land, the cities in Europe began to

grow as well. In the previous centuries, barbarian invasions and the slow development of the

Germanic kingdoms had caused a decline in the economy. And this makes sense, people were

afraid to travel very far from their own towns to trade. So the economy of Europe had reverted

back to a local level in which people mainly just traded with their neighbors in small villages.

But with the Agricultural Revolution and the growth in the population, people became more

willing to travel and cities became sites of trade and commerce again. As trade increased

between the cities of Europe, a commercial revolution took place. When the Romans controlled

Western Europe centuries before, they used coins to buy things, but when the barbarians came in

and took over, the economy reverted to a barter system. People traded products for other

products, instead of paying money for them. As the economy grew in Western Europe, during

the 11th and 12th centuries, silver and gold coins were reintroduced. This resulted in an economy

based on currency. It was also during this time that the practice of money lending was introduced

into Western Europe. A person could now ask for loans from banking firms or wealthy

individuals, who would give it to you with the added cost of interest. This practice of lending

money with interest was called, usury. More broadly, the growth of the economy directly

resulted in the development of capitalism in Europe. Capitalism is an economic system in which

commerce and industry are controlled by private owners who invest in trade and goods, in order

to make profits. People at this time in the Middle Ages, were no longer just trying to survive,

they were trying to get rich.

[SLIDE] This potential to make money, in turn, encouraged more people to move to the cities.

Many of the old Roman cities still existed, but these cities had shrunk in size and significance

when the barbarians took over. But during the 11th and 12th centuries, as more people moved to

the cities to engage in trade and the broader capitalistic economy, the populations of these old

cities began to outgrow their original walls. In many cases, the people in these old Roman cities

just built new walls to accommodate the bigger population. [SLIDE] And in fact, if you go to

Europe, you can still find cities that have multiple sets of walls that ring each other. Not because

people needed defense, but because the city kept growing. The left side of your screen shows the

different city walls of Barcelona. Barcelona is located on the eastern coast of Spain, and it was

originally established by the Romans. The smaller red circle indicates the original Roman walls.

The yellow and blue circles indicate walls built later to accommodate a growing city in the

Middle Ages.

[SLIDE] As I mentioned, in many cases, people in old Roman cities just built new walls to

accommodate a bigger population. In other cases, however, the answer to the problem was not

new walls, but an entirely new city. Usually what would happen, is that a group of workers and

merchants would establish a settlement near a castle. Castles were normally located near roads

and trade routes, and they offered protection. Lords living in those castles often had armies and

weapons necessary to defend a new settlement against attack. Initially, the relationship between

these new settlements and local lords was mutually beneficial. The settlements got protection,

and the lords got to tax residents and call upon them for service as vassals. But if these

settlements were successful and developed into cities capable of defending themselves, this

relationship became a hindrance. The people of this new city would eventually want

independence from their local lord to elect their own officials, create their own laws, and keep

their taxes for the benefit of the city. Beginning in 11th century, the solution for many new cities

was to buy their freedom from the lords. City leaders would literally offer their local lord a

specific amount of money for a charter that proclaimed the city's independence to govern itself

without interference. While most lords were more than willing to accept this exchange of money

for independence, some were not. When a lord refused, townspeople often got together and

formed an association called a commune. This commune would use force against their lord to

make him give the city its freedom. You can think of these communes as early labor unions.

Communes were particularly common in Italy. Records from the year 1070 suggest that there

were over 100 communes in northern and central Italy.

[SLIDE] Now, even though people were focused on making money, medieval Europe was still a

very religious society. And as we talked about in my last lecture, the pope was and is the leader

of the Roman Catholic Church. And the pope was a very important person in Western Europe

during the Middle Ages, and we know this because, as we’ll talk about in a few minutes, when

the pope called for a crusade in 1095, hundreds of thousands of people answered his call.

Beginning in the 10th and 11th centuries, the pope and the papacy grew in power until the pope

came to represent the most important leader of Western Europe. The papacy represents the

hierarchy of religious officials who keep the Roman Catholic Church running. This includes the

pope, archbishops, bishops, and priests. The pope at the top of this hierarchy, was responsible for

deciding which practices and ideas were orthodox or heretical, how mass and religious rituals

were performed, and how religious figures related to each other. In addition to these religious

duties, the pope had political duties, as well. The pope met with political leaders, and maintained

diplomatic relationships. As the pope gained more power and more respect as a leader of the

Roman Catholic Church, he began to designate certain officials to advise him in his many duties.

These advisors are called Cardinals. And they also became the officials who elected a new pope

when the current one died. As the pope gained more officials and grew in power, he began to

style himself as a sort of king over the Catholic Church and over Christianity. [SLIDE] In fact,

the pope and his cardinals together came to known as the Papal Curia. Papal Curia is Latin for

the pope's court. So, in this sense, the pope had his own royal court with advisers to assist him. In

the late 11th century, popes reached the height of their power. And this encouraged them to take

matters to a new level. The popes began to present their power as superior to all the rest of the

kings of Europe. So not only did popes present themselves as the King of the Roman Catholic

Church, but they emphasized that they held more authority than any other king.

[SLIDE] So, popes began to present themselves as the most powerful rulers of Europe, over and

above even the kings and their earthly kingdoms. But the problem with this was the up to this

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