The Development of Feudalism in
Western Civilization
Activity 3.2
The Development of Feudalism in Western Civilization
Activity 3.2
Sometimes we call the early
Middle Ages the “Dark Ages”
because of the cultural decay and
political disorder that followed
the fall of the Roman Empire.
Draw an outline silhouette of a
head in your notes. It doesn’t have
to be perfect. Stick figures will do.
Create a mind map in the center
of your silhouette. Write the
words Dark Ages in the center.
View the slides and write words
or phrases that describe how
these pictures might evoke
(cause) feelings of decay and
disorder .
Dark Ages
Mind Map
The Development of Feudalism in Western Civilization
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2B
Mind Map
The Development of Feudalism in Western Civilization
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2C
Mind Map
The Development of Feudalism in Western Civilization
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2D
Mind Map
The Development of Feudalism in Western Civilization
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2E
Mind Map
The Development of Feudalism in Western Civilization
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2F
Mind Map
The Development of Feudalism in Western Civilization
Charlemagne’s Rise to Power
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2A
Charlemagne’s Rise to Power
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2A
ruler of Franks in A.D. 481
 self-interested and cruel
 prayed to idols of pagan gods for
success in battle
 had one defeat after another
 Christian wife convinced him to
pray to Christian God and won
next battle
 converted to Christianity
 had support of Pope, the Church
(Catholic), and Christian Romans
living with the Franks
Charlemagne’s Rise to Power
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2A
Charlemagne’s Rise to Power
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2A
Background on Franks
• Germanic people
• lived along Rhine River
• loyal to kin
• Clovis converted to Christianity,
God Himself
has made me
By the authority of
the Church, I crown
thee Holy Roman
Charlemagne's Accomplishments
• created large empire made of selfsufficient manors
• counts kept order in his kingdom
• made Aachen new center for
Division of Frankish Empire
• Kingdom divided into three parts
after Charlemagne’s death
• division weakened Empire’s unity
and caused the collapse of
the Frankish Kingdom
Steps to Charlemagne’s Rise to Power
Step 1: Converted Germans to Christianity through war
Step 2: Prevented Muslims from expanding into Europe
Step 3: Brutally put down a Saxon revolt
Charlemagne’s Rise to Power
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2A
Viking Raids
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2B
Slide 3.2B Viking Raids
Who were the Vikings?
• Lifestyle: based on sea: viking = pirate; a-viking = to go
on an overseas adventure; both sexes wore long hair;
married women were respected
• Government: tribal units ruled by a jarl
• Values: culture of war; blood feuds common
• Education: not important, most illiterate, boys =
warriors; girls = wives
• Religion: worshiped many gods, used crop and animal
Where did they raid and why?
• raided coastal villages throughout Europe, plundering, killing, burning,
and taking prisoners
• Europe was weak after Charlemagne’s empire fell apart
• Viking longships and weaponry intimidated people of Europe
• Vikings were experienced sailors, traders, and explorers
We could stop
Viking raids if
we had a
strong central
What was their impact on Europe?
• Viking power of intimidation kept many Europeans in a state of
•Europeans looked to local lords to protect them
•Contributed to the development of feudalism
•Viking culture influenced some aspects of life in Europe
Viking Raids, Exploration, and Settlements
Viking symbols
Shirt made with
iron rings
Viking woman at work in wooden house
Viking villages
Medieval Viking
woman’s traditional
Medieval Castles
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2C
Compare and contrast the two pictures
o What are the similarities of the two castles?
o What are some of the differences of the two castles?
o What are the different parts of the two castles?
o Why are the different parts built this way?
o What function do you think each part serves?
Medieval Castles/Motte and Bailey Castles
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2C
Moat and Bailey Castle
omotte—a mound of dirt and rock constructed in
order to raise the level of the castle and provide
additional protection against invaders
okeep—the stronghold of the castle built on top of
the moat; usually a strong wooden tower; a safe
place for the lord to go during an attack
ostockade—a wall of wooden stakes built around
the bailey and on top of the moat
obailey—The stockade enclosure containing…
oresidences for peasants and workers
omoat—a deep ditch or a man-made body of
water that surrounds the moat and bailey making it
difficult for invaders to reach the castle and
surrounding buildings
oNo hot water or plumbing, generally crowded
and uncomfortable, fresh water could be
difficult to obtain, herbs thrown on floors to
mask (hide) the bad smell
inner bailey
arrow slit
ventilation slit
Medieval Castles
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2C
Stockade walls made of dirt and wood were
replaced by stone walls.
The moat or ditch was also replace by a
stone wall.
Instead of windows the castle walls have
Ventilation slits—spaces just large enough
to allow some fresh air into the castle, while
allowing a man defending the castle to
shoot an arrow out of the window and still
be protected
Sanitation in castles was taken care of by a
shaft called a garderobe that ran through
the stone walls often to an underground
sewer near the well that served as the
castle’s main water supply.
Great stone tower keeps replaced the shell keep serving as both a residence and a fortress. These
keeps were built in the form of towers having several stories.
The bottom story—or basement—was the dungeon, or donjon—an underground chamber used for
storage, a well, and occasionally as a holding cell for knights held in capture for ransom.
The first story housed the servants, pages, and squires.
The second story was the lord’s residence.
At the top of each tower was a parapet—a low wall protecting the tower’s edge. Parapets often had
arrow slits carved out to allow for defense.
There was a drawbridge across the moat. The entrance to the castle was protected by a portcullis—
a sliding grill of iron or wood hung in the gateway to the castle in such a way that it could be lowered
quickly in order to prevent enemies from gaining entrance.
Life on a Manor
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2D
Life on a Manor
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2D
Feudal Social Hierarchy
Monarch – ruler of a large area who owned
land which could be exchanged for fealty
Clergy – religious leaders who taught and
spread Christianity
Nobles and Lords - lived in a manor or
castle and ruled over the land given to them by the
monarch—swore to defend their monarch if
needed—to go to war for them.
Vassals and Knights - trained knights who
studied warfare from the age of seven. Lived by
the code of chivalry. Granted a fief by the Lord in
exchange for their promise of loyalty and military
Peasants – Freemen - Able to pay the lord
for the use of his land and able to leave the manor
at any time. Lords could force freemen to leave
Peasants – Serfs – worked the land for the
lord giving almost all their food and work to the
lord. Serfs were not allowed to move from the
land, own property, or marry without the lord’s
permission. Serfs swore allegiance to their lords.
Life on a Manor
The Church
The church was another central feature of
the manor. The religion of the whole of
Europe was Roman Catholic and it was
law that people went to church on a
Sunday. The leading churchmen of the
land, Bishops and Archbishops were
very wealthy and helped to govern the
country. The local priests, however, were
much poorer and were often
uneducated. It was the priest's job to
look after the sick of the village as well
as preaching in the church
Life on a Manor
Villeins (serfs, peasants)
The largest amount of land on the manor
would be used by the villeins. Their
house would be surrounded by a yard
called a 'toft' and a garden called a
'croft'. This land would be used for
growing crops and vegetables, a
percentage of which would be given to a
knight as 'payment' for their land.
Villein's houses were one-roomed and
the family shared the space with the
The Development of Feudalism in Western Civilization
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2E
Bayeux Tapestry
Bayeux Tapestry
(French: Tapisserie de Bayeux) is a
long embroidered cloth [50 cm
by 70 m (20 in by 230 ft)] which
depicts the events leading up
to the 1066 Norman invasion of
England as well as the events
of the invasion itself. The
Tapestry is annotated in Latin.
It is presently exhibited in a
special museum in Bayeux,
Normandy, France.
William's cavalry embark for England
prior to the Norman invasion.
Is the Bayeux
Tapestry a primary
Celts and Saxons
When the Romans, who were based in England, left
the country to fight in their homeland, laws and
civilization broke down in England. The Celts
were the indigenous population of Southern
England. They were under attack from various
forces—the Scots, the Welsh, and the Vikings!
They arranged for foreign mercenaries from
Europe to fight off these invaders. These
mercenaries were paid with land. The families of
the mercenaries, many from Germany, also cam
to England. They were the Saxons. The Saxons
began taking over from the Celts, who were
driven from South England to the West and North
of England. These Saxons intermarried with the
Celts. Some Saxons brought their families to
England from their land in Germany. The AngloSaxons were born and their land was Wessex,
In A.D. 420 with the fall of the Roman Empire, there
were no more Roman troops in Britain. People
from other places began to invade the island.
Both the Danes and the Anglo-Saxons (from
Germany) invaded regularly at this time.
There is a story, which you have probably heard, that
at this time there arose in England a famous king,
King Arthur, who had a famous magician helper
named Merlin, and whose Knights of the Round
Table fought off the Anglo-Saxons and the Danes,
and kept England civilized and unified. It is hard
for historians to say definitely whether Arthur
really existed. But it does seem likely that the
English organized to keep the Anglo-Saxons and
the Danes out.
However, as the Arthur stories say, the effort failed.
By the 600's, England had been taken over by the
Angles and the Saxons. The name England
means the land of the Angles. The Angles and
Saxons did at least manage to fight off the Danes
for the most part.
The Anglo-Saxon kings ruled England from the 600's
AD until the Norman Conquest in 1066.
King Edward the Confessor restored the Saxon dynasty to the English throne
after many years of Danish rule. He was a very pious monarch and spent most of
his time praying and building Westminster Abbey. He didn't seem interested in
his wife or in producing an heir to the throne. Unfortunately, he, therefore, had
no obvious heir at his death and this situation led to a series of invasions and,
finally, the Conquest of England by Duke William the Bastard of Normandy.
Edward was buried in Westminster Abbey a few days after its completion. He
was revered as a saint and was the Patron Saint of England before the
introduction of the worship of St. George.
Harold Goodwinsson was King
Edward’s brother-in-law.
Edward. In 1053 Edward
passed virtually all the
administration of the kingdom
to Harold so that he could
devote all his energies to
Church matters and hunting.
On January 4, 1066 Edward the
Confessor died. Harold is
elected by the Anglo-Saxon
assembly nobles to succeed
Edward. Harold had sworn to
William of Normandy that he
would support William
becoming king. Harold broke
his promise and wanted to
become king. Harold was killed
at the Battle of Hastings.
The first recorded Viking raid took place in 793 AD
Financially motivated raids would soon lead to
military campaigns with territorial conquest as a
goal. In 866 AD, the landing of the largest Viking
army yet seen in England -- called the Great Army - set off a long and bitter war against the AngloSaxons for control of England.
By 878 AD the Vikings controlled the kingdoms of
Northumbria and East Anglia. Alfred the Great,
King of Wessex, successfully held off the Vikings.
In 885, a treaty of coexistence between the two
powers gave the Vikings control of England's
north and east -- an area that became known as
Danelaw and whose Viking legacy is present to
this day in town names.
The English were able to regain all lands lost to
the Vikings by 954.
During this time, the Scandinavian warriors
terrorized England and demanded danegeld,
payment to ensure peace.
The English lost control again when the Danish
King Svein launched an attack in 1012. His son,
Cnut (Canute), became the sole ruler of England,
but Cnut's death triggered another power struggle.
Harold Hardrada, king of Norway, arrived in 1066 to
fight for the throne.
Was the King of Norway.
A descendant of King Canute of England.
Claimed his family was promised it could rule
Was frequently at war and usually won.
Collected lots of taxes from his people to pay for wars.
Very unpopular, but powerful.
Harald claimed that he had a right to the English
throne. He was related to King Canute, the King of
England from 1016-1032. Harald said this gave him
every right to invade England.
Harald's claim was pretty weak. He didn't really care this was a man who used violence to make his point.
He relied on his Viking reputation of being fierce. He
was a tremendous warrior, and had travelled across
and beyond Europe. Harold Hardrada was a true
Viking, and wanted to take England by force.
There are no contemporary images
of Harald Hadrada, but if he was
following the latest trends in
military hardware and protection,
then he may have looked like this
rider from the late Norwegian
tapestry at Badishol, dated to
around 1180AD
Around 1000 AD, some of the
Vikings who had been raiding
France got permission from
the French king to settle
down and live in France
instead. They were supposed
to help protect France
against other Vikings (as the
Visigoths had done before).
As part of the deal, these
Vikings also converted from
their German gods to
Catholicism. These settlers
were called the Normans
(which is short for NorthMen, because they came
from the North). The part of
France where they lived is
called Normandy, the land of
the North-Men, even today.
1066 Country is located in the county of East
Sussex in the south eastern part of England.
The area is so named because of the Battle of
Hastings in 1066. This section pinpoints the
area with maps of the town and surrounding
countryside and its location with respect to
Normandy, the home of William the Conqueror.
In 1066 AD William of Normandy decided to attack
England and try to conquer it from the Anglo-Saxons.
William was not a rich man himself, because his
mother had not been married to his father when he
was born, and according to medieval law he could not
inherit his father's property. People called him William
the Bastard (that means that his parents were not
William thought if he conquered England he might
become rich. A lot of his friends agreed with him. So
they sailed across the English Channel in a lot of small
boats, and when they got there they did beat the
Anglo-Saxons in the battle of Hastings. The AngloSaxon king, Harold, was shot in the eye with an arrow
and died.
William of Normandy (who was now called William the
Conqueror) became the new king of England. He was
crowned in Westminster Abbey. He built the Tower of
London to live in, to keep himself and his family safe.
William and all his friends spoke French, but the
English people spoke Saxon. So for a long time there
were two languages spoken in England.
England, 1066: Events in the Norman Conquest
Two Battles
There were two main battles in 1066
Battle of Stamford Bridge
Battle of Hastings
25 September 1066
14th October 1066
How did the conquest change
Consequences of the Norman
 Normans ruled England as Kings
 Domesday Book
 French became the official
language at court
 Castles were built around England
 New laws were passed to give the
Normans more power
 The style of buildings changed
 The Feudal System was introduced
 There was an army of occupation in
much of the country
What is the Domesday Book?
The Domesday Book is a great land survey from 1086,
commissioned by William the Conqueror to assess the extent of
the land and resources being owned in England at the time,
and the extent of the taxes he could raise. The information
collected was recorded by hand in two huge books, in the
space of around a year. William died before it was fully
Why is it called the ‘Domesday Book’?
It was written by an observer of the survey that "there was no single hide
nor a yard of land, nor indeed one ox nor one cow nor one pig which was
left out". The complete scale on which the Domesday survey took place
and the permanent nature of the information collected led people to
compare it to the Last Judgement, or 'Doomsday', described in the Bible,
when the deeds of Christians written in the Book of Life were to be placed
before God for judgement. This name was not adopted until the late 12th
What information is in the book?
The Domesday Book provides records of landholders, their tenants, the
amount of land they owned, how many people occupied the land
(villagers, smallholders, free men, slaves, etc.), the amounts of
woodland, meadow, animals, fish and ploughs on the land (if there were
any) and other resources, any buildings present (churches, castles,
mills, salthouses, etc.), and the value of the land and its assets, before
the Norman Conquest, after it, and at the time of Domesday.
King John and the Magna Carta
Activity 3.2 Slide 3.2F
King John and the Magna Carta
What do you see in this
Who is King John?
Who are the people
surrounding the king?
What are they saying to
How do you think King
John is feeling?
How do the King and the
people feel about each
King Richard
collects large amounts of taxes to go on Crusade
captured and held for ransom
the people are taxed even more
when he dies in AD 1199, his younger brother, John,
becomes king
King John’s behaviors…
 called John “Lackland” because he inherited no land from his
 had no money to defend England’s lands in France
 taxed landowners more
 bought goods cheaply and sold to his people at high prices
 made his people help build his palaces
 took horses and other things he needed whenever
 offered the people fewer services
 was a weak military leader and lost most of England’s land in
 quarreled with Pope Innocent III and was excommunicated
English nobles and church officials actions…
 in AD 1215 confronted King John at the meadow
of Runnymede
 demanded he sign a contract called the Magna
Carta (Great Charter) that
- curbed the king’s power
- had rules that kings of England must
Rights granted in Magna Carta
 separation of church and state
 trial by jury
 representative government in the
form of an advisory council
 the laws of inheritance for both
widows and children were
drastically changed to
safeguard survivors. Before
this, the king had the right to
marry off a widow to the
highest bidder. The new
husband took not only a bride,
but the lands and wealth as
well. By challenging this
practice, the nobles struck a
first blow for the rights of
women and children

The Development of Feudalism in Western Civilization