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Middle Ages Main Page 


page 2

Political Organization In The Early Middle Ages


page 3

The Church In The Early Middle Ages


page 4

Conclusion to Pages 1, 2 & 3


page 5

The Making Of Modern Britain

page 6

Beginnings of the French Nation

page 7

Re-conquest of Spain

page 8

Government in Germany & Italy

page 9

The Crusades

page 10

The Rise of Trade and Towns

page 11

The Church in the Middle Ages I

page 12

The Church in the Middle Ages II

page 13

The Intellectual Synthesis Of The High Middle Ages

page 14



Additional Topics

Dancing In The Middle Ages

Castle Life

Cultural Expression

Dynamics of the Middle Ages

Influences of Christianity

Monks and Monasticism

Monetary System

Peasant's Life

The Rise of Towns


The Middle Ages

Date:      1992


Conclusion to Pages 1, 2 and 3



     During the period known as the early Middle Ages (500-1000), the focus of

European civilization shifted from the Mediterranean to France. The conversion

of Clovis to Christianity and the subsequent Frankish alliance with the papacy

united the most energetic of the Germanic tribes with the greatest existing

force for civilization in western Europe - the Christian church. The

foundation of the new Europe was completed by Charlemagne, but his empire

depended too heavily on the forceful personality of its founder and did not

survive his less dynamic successors. After the Carolingian collapse, new

political and economic patterns evolved to meet the turbulent conditions of

the time.


     The decentralized political systems and customs of government during the

early Middle Ages are sometimes generally referred to as feudalism. This term

is helpful in describing a theoretical pattern of government, although in

reality local diversity and custom were more the rule. Blending of Germanic

and Roman practices to suit regional needs resulted in a great variety of

political patterns.


     Manorialism is the term sometimes employed to generalize the condition of

life for the vast majority of commoners in the early Middle Ages. On the

manors, serfs grew the food for all segments of medieval society and performed

the exhausting labor required. They were politically restricted, bound to

their estates, and very rarely in a position to control their own destinies.


     Throughout the period, the church attempted to serve the spiritual needs

of the populace, in addition to strengthening its position as an institution

of power and influence. The church also spread its influence through

missionary activity across the Continent and into England and Ireland.

Monasteries served not only as centers from which missionary activity spread,

but also as repositories for the preservation of the learning of the classical

world and the church itself.


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