The Medieval Period 1066-1485 The Medieval Period




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TitleThe Medieval Period 1066-1485 The Medieval Period
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The Medieval Period

1066-1485

The Medieval Period



The Middle Ages

At his most characteristic, medieval man was not a dreamer nor a wanderer. He was an organizer, a codifier, a builder of systems. He wanted “a place for everything and everything in the right place.” Distinction, definition, tabulation, were his delight. Though full of turbulent activities, he was equally full of the impulse to formalize by the art of hierarchy and the rules of chivalry; sexual passion, by the elaborate code of love …There was nothing which medieval people liked better, or did better, than sorting out and tidying up. Of all our modern inventions I suspect they would have admired the index card.

October 1066

  • William of Normandy defeated King Harold of England, the last of the Anglo-Saxon Kings.

  • So began the Norman Conquest

  • William the Conqueror wanted to rule the Anglo-Saxons, not eliminate them.



Influence of the French

  • The French, Anglo-Saxon, and Latin languages were combined to create our English language.

  • Began an inventory of every piece of property and therefore could now tax what was owned.

    • Domesday Book—tax record book


Feudalism

  • Was a caste system, a property system, and a military system.

  • The king was the supreme ruler by “divine right.”

  • He appointed barons, allotting them land, and in return, they promised him their economic and military allegiance.

  • The system went all the way down to the serfs who could not own the land they tilled.



Knights

  • Males above the serf class went into military service for their lord.

  • Boys were trained from an early age to be warriors; when the training was completed, they were “dubbed” or “knighted.”

  • Once knighted, they received the title “sir” and the full rights of the warrior caste.

  • Knighthood was an idea of loyalty and entailed a complex system of codes.





Women

  • Were always subservient to a man, whether to a father, brother, or husband.

  • The status of the male decided the degree of respect she received.

  • Peasant: childbearing, housework, and hard fieldwork

  • Women of a High Standing: childbearing and supervision of housework; they might even manage the estate if the husband was away

  • They had no rights.



Chivarly and Courtly Love

  • Chivalry was a system of ideals and social codes governing the behavior of knights and gentlewomen.

  • Examples: loyalty to one’s lord, observering certain rules of warfare—never attacking an opponent who is unarmed

  • Adoring a particular lady was seen as means of achieving self-improvement

  • Revering and acting in the name of the lady would make a knight braver and better ; was a central aspect to courtly love



Courtly Love

  • A non-sexual form of love

  • A knight might fight wearing her colors

  • Or glorify her in words

  • And be inspired by her

  • The lady always remained pure and out of reach

  • Since this idea is fairly far-fetched, it has provided much drama for Arthurian and Medieval stories

  • Medieval Romance—stories of adventure, gallant love, chivalry, and heroism



The Monarchary

  • After William the Conqueror

    • Near anarchary
    • Henry II
    • Richard I—Richard the Lion Hearted
    • King John—while Richard was away his brother, King John, plotted against him.
    • Remember Robin Hood
    • Resulted in the Magna Carta: limited royal authority by granting more power to the barons


Hundred Year's War

  • Between England and France

  • Began in 1337—during the reign of Edward III

  • Continued on and on for more than a century

  • Eventually the French defeated the English

  • A new social class emerged: yeoman class, bringing with it modern democracy



The Black Plague: 1348-1349

  • Brought the end of feudalism because it caused a labor shortage, leading the serf’s freedom

  • Killed around 1/3 of England’s population



War of the Roses

  • At the end of the Hundred Year’s War, two families claimed right to throne

  • York: symbolized by a white rose

  • Lancaster: symbolized by a red rose

  • At the end of the war in 1485, Lancastrian Henry Tudor killed the Yorkist king Richard III and took the throne as Henry III

  • This event marks the end of the Middle Ages or the Medieval Period



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