In this unit, you will learn about daily life in medieval times and key developments of the Middle Ages. You will explore the events that contributed to the decline of feudalism in the 12th through 15th centuries.
There were many causes for the breakdown of the feudal system. We will focus on 3: political changes in England, a terrible disease, and a long series of wars.
In England several political changes in the 12 & 13 centuries helped to weaken feudalism. A famous document known as the Magna Carta, or Great Charter, dates from 1215. The Magna Carta was a legal document signed by King John that limited the king’s power and gave certain rights to English nobles. As feudalism declined, the Magna Carta becomes more significant.
The terrible disease was the bubonic plague, or Black Death. It began in Asia and then spread to Europe and was spread by infected flea-carrying rats that hitched a ride on the ships. From 1/3 to 1/2 of Europe’s population was killed. It didn’t matter if a person was rich or poor, young or old, town dwellers or country folk. Almost everyone who caught the plague died within days. Whole towns were wiped out. The deaths of so many people led to dramatic economic and social changes.
The 3rd topic we are going to study is the Hundred Years’ War fought between France and England. Off and on it did last a hundred years. The Hundred Years’ War changed the way wars were fought and shifted power away from the lords of the manor to kings and the common people.
To learn how people lived then watch the video Knights and Castles (video on Learn 360) http://www.learn360.com/Popup/popupPlayer.aspx?Playlist=1144399&Player=18&LocationID=6790461
- Write down a list of reasons why castles were needed.
- What were some activities that occurred within the castle walls?
- Write a menu for a medieval banquet. Include a variety of food that would have been served.
- What role did women play in castle life?
- Explain the term chivalry and outline the Knights Code of Chivalry.
- Describe the training leading to knighthood.
- What was the significance of the preparations immediately prior to knighthood?
- Select 1 of t he 5 method used to attack a castle explained in the video and write the advantages and disadvantages.
- Draw a plan of castle, incorporating many of the features outlined in the video.