Social Studies
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Royal Power and Democracy

Just as people accepted the absolute authority of the Church, so they accepted the rule of the monarch. Nonetheless, the king relied on the nobles, especially those who were powerful, to uphold the system. The barons posed a real threat to the kings; therefore, they were treated with great respect. The story of King John and the signing of the Magna Carta at the end of the chapter clearly illustrates the power of the nobles. Eleanor of Aquitaine was the most famous person in Europe at the time. She held great influence as queen of both France and England and motehr of two kings of England, Richard the Lion-Hearted and King John. She was one of the first people to encourage writing by and about women. Read and take notes on pages 65-76 and answer questions 1-4 on page 67.

Medieval World View & the Crusades

Most people were undeducated and knew very little about the outside world as they never left the manor. It was either too dangerous or they were not allowed to leave the manor. Even those who did travel - kings, nobles, and the few traders - had limited knowledge of the world. Maps were rare and often innaccurate. World views were expanded, however, through the Crusades that began in the eleventh century. These holy wars began as a result of deep religious feeling and prejudice against the Muslims. Many people, both common and noble, journeyed on Crusades to fight the Muslims in the holy land. Although the Crusades did not take back the Holy Land from the Turks (Muslims), they did promote trade and an exchange of ideas that would eventually lead to the Rennaissance period in Western Europe. Read and take notes on pages 60-65 and answer the following questions:

The Legal System of Medieval Europe

New laws and systems of justice helped people live cooperatively in the feudal system. Trial by ordeal or battle were common methods of justice. Three levels of courts emerged: manor courts, royal courts and church courts, each looking after different matters. For most people, the manor court was their only experience with the law. At times, the authority of the Church clashed with that of the monarch, as in the case of Henry II and Thomas Becket. Women continued to have few legal rights unless they were a widow. Read and take notes on pages 56-58 and use that information to create the comparison chart on page 59. You will need to follow the instructions on that page to create your chart and to write the paragraph comparing the different courts. You also need to answer questions 1 - 4 on page 59.

Religion in Medieval Europe

Religion dominated daily life. Churches were found in every village and cathedrals in most towns. People believed that they would be judged after death and to avoid eternal damnation they had to take part in various religious ceremonies. They accepted their positions in sosicety becuase they believed these were God's will, and some decidated themselve to God's work as monks, priests, nuns or even hermits. God's hand could be seen in the changing weather, the conditions of their health, or their general prosperity. The days of the calendar were dedicated to saints and all ceremonies had to be blessed to ensure success. Through the threat of excommunication, the Catholic Church had great power over the lives of all Medieval people. Not only did the Church guide the people spiritually; it also provided much needed services. The people were tied to the Church economically too, through taxes, or tithes. Read pages 54-56 and answer questions 1, 2, 3 and 4 on page 56.

The Feudal Manor

The manor was a self-sufficient agricultural community in which most of the population lived out their lives unaware of the outside world. The common people were either serfs or freeholders. Both groups were obliged to work long and hard days on the land and lived in modest conditions in their villages. The lord and lady of the manor lived in relatively large houses, attended by many servants. Life on the feudal manor was quite different depending on whether you were the noble or the commoners, women or men, farmers or tradespeople. Regardless of what purpose you served in feudal society everyone had to work together to make the manor self-sufficient in order for all of them to survive. Farming techniques such as the 3 field system of crop rotation and using manure as fertilizer were developed to help keep the land fertile so the manor could feed everyone and stay self-sufficient. Read pages 47 - 54 and answer the following questions:

You will also need to draw a diagram or map of a feudal manor. Below are the requirements for your assignment as well as the marking criteria. I have also included some pictures of feudal manors. REMEMBER: Don't just copy the pictures! Make your own map of a feudal manor (just remember to include all the essential parts).

Feudal manor 1.giffeudal manor 2.jpgfeudal manor 3.jpgFeudal manor 4.jpgfeudal manor 5.jpg

The Feudal System

In Western Europe we see the development of the Feudal System during the Medieval period or High Middle Ages. William the Conqueror introduced Norman feudalism to England, stripping the English earls of their land and giving their lands to knights who had helped him at the Battle of Hastings. The feudal contract, a complex system of responsibilities and obligations between lord and vassal, was the basis of the feudal system. Large fiefs were divided into manors, each of which provided an income for the knight who was its lord. The lords, for their part, were obliged to fulfill their agreement with the king which included supplying the king with knights, serving in the king's army for a certain number of days, providing political advice to the king, giving money if requested, and pledging their loyalty to the king. Read pages 44-47 to learn more about what the feudal system was and how it worked. Answer the questions below and create your own feudal pyramid with the worksheet below:

To determine where in Europe were the best places for the Feudal system to develop you will need to use the map on page 49 and follow the instructions on the page to create your own map showing the best places for feudal manors to be found. The map is below:

We also read the following worksheet about the Feudal system and answered the attached questions:

The Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux Tapestry was created by William the Conqueror to tell the story of his rise to power as the King of England. It explained how he was able to defeat Harold Godwinson in the Battle of Hastings in 1066, to take the crown of England. William was of Viking ancestry ruling over Normandy (originally settled by the Vikings) in what is modern day France. He was able to extend his influence and expand his empire to include England. He had the Bayeux Tapestry made after the battle to convince people that he was the rightful heir to the throne in England. The tapestry outlines the breakdown of his relationship with Harold who was crowned King of the Anglo-Saxons, explains feudal relationships, the preparations for war, the remarkable feat of sending over a large invasion fleet from France, and the battlefield tactics and technology used before William defeats Harold and becomes King of England.

After reading pages 38-42 in the textbook you need to answer questions 1 (13 points), 2 (4 points), 3 (2 points), 4 (7 points), and 6 (3 points) on page 42.

There are a couple of videos on YouTube that show what the Bayeux Tapestry looks like with all the panels telling the story. The first one is in Polish but you can see all the panels clearly. The second one is an animated version that shows half the panels that includes mostly the Battle of Hastings section of the Tapestry.


The Vikings

The Vikings came from the areas of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and began to attack all parts of Europe, shattering the peace that had been created by Charlemagne. The Vikings' long, shallow ships allowed them to access all areas of Europe by travelling the rivers into the interior of the land. Their attacks were savage and brutal, killing or enslaving all they encountered. The increasing population in their homelands had put a strain on their resources requiring these farmers to seek out new lands they could take over. Many of the monarchs in England and France offered gold and silver to the Vikings to stop them from invading their territories, and eventually they had to give the Viking invaders land to enlist their help to defend the area against further Viking attacks. There is a video about the Vikings available below if you want to watch it to get a better understanding of the Vikings.
After reading pages 31-35 in the textbook you need to answer these questions:
You also need to read pages 3-7 to learn more about Vikings and answer these questions:

Here is the video about the Vikings. It's from YouTube and called "History Channel - Barbarians - Vikings."

Anglo-Saxons and the Celts

Read pages 27-30 in your textbook to find out what was happening in England during the Middle Ages and then answer questions 1, 2, 3a, 4, and 6 on page 30. Great Britain was populated by the native Celtic people who had settled there after being forced out of Europe by the Romans and other invaders. Remember that the Roman Empire had extended all the way to England (Hadrian's Wall in the north). After the fall of Rome in the fifth century Britain was invaded by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes from Germany who drove them further west into Wales, Cornwall, Scotland and Ireland. The invaders became known as the Anglo-Saxons, or English and they divided England into 7 kingdoms, leaving Wales, Cornwall, Scotland and Ireland to the Celts. In Ireland the Celts established monasteries whose purpose was to create books. Monks spent their time writing down the Latin, Greek and Celtic stories. They were able to preserve the cultural heritage of Rome, Greece and Ireland because their monasteries were not destroyed by the Vikings like so many others in the rest of Europe. England acted as a barrier to protect Ireland from invading forces. On the third page of the file below is a map that you should do using the map on page 29 to guide you.


The Franks and Charlemagne

The Franks were able to conquer the former Roman Empire territory of Gaul (modern France) and establish themselves there. The Merovingian royal family ruled for almost 300 years. Clovis was one of their most successful rulers from 481 - 511 C.E. He brought them the Roman Catholic religion uniting the people of France and established Paris as the capital. The Franks continued to have social classes with a small rich upper class and a large group of people who were serfs or peasants working on the lord's manor or estate. Althought they were free, they were at the mercy of the landowners for their farming. Charlemagne (Charles the Great) came to power in France in 768 C.E. after a series of weak Merovingian rulers. He was interested in expanding and rebuilding their civilization and brought about a Renaissance in Europe with improved laws, education and the arts. Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans by the Pope. His empire was called the Carolingian Empire and lasted from 770-814 C.E. France continued to believe in Christianity and those who refused to convert were killed.
After reading pages 21-26 in the textbook you need to answer these questions:
The two worksheets we looked at to get a better understanding of the rise of Islam around the Mediterranean area and its impact on Europe as well as the rise of Charlemagne to power in Western Europe are below:

There is also a video on YouTube about the Franks that you can watch if you wanto to learn more about them.

The Goths

We will look at each of the major Barbarian tribes that played a part in the shaping of Europe in the Middle Ages. The first is the Goths who played a major part in bringing about the destruction of the Roman Empire as they escaped the advancing Huns. The Goths were able to bring about the first battle defeat of the Roman Empire in 400 years. The videos about the Goths are available at The Goths Glog if you need to watch them to finish answering the questions.

The Early Middle Ages

With the sacking of Rome there was no central ruling authority so Europe fell into disarray and entered the Early Middle Ages which were referred to as the Dark Ages. Throughout the Dark Ages, the only unifying force was the emergence of Christianity in Europe. If you missed watching the videos for the Middle Ages (The Sacking of Rome, The Waning Empire, The Common Thread of Christianity, The Empire Strikes Back, The Plague) you can go to the Middle Ages Glog to watch them in order to complete your notes and answer the questions (worksheets are below).

Comparison of Religions:

When writing your compare and contrast paragraph about the three religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) you will need to include the following in your pargraph:
  • introductory sentence and concluding sentence on your paragraph
  • organize the information in your paragraph in either one of the following 2 ways:
  1. Discuss all similarities and then discuss all differences
  2. Discuss each religion's similarities and differences to the other religions (so it will be all Christian similarities and differences, then all Judaism and then all Islam in the paragraph).

It is your choice how you choose to organize your ideas, but you should plan your writing with an outline before writing your paragraph. You will also need to ensure you use transition words and phrases to help with the flow of ideas in your paragraph. (You have a worksheet in the writing section of your binder that was taught earlier in the year.) Remember to use good sentences with proper punctuation and edit for COPS.


Some people may forget their textbook at school. If you did, there is an online version of the book (without all the pictures and text features) available here.

The Roman Empire

Civilizations develop in response to a variety of factors but common to all are moderate climates, rich soils, and food crops to sustain large numbers of people. The Mediterranean region offered such advantages as well as excellent transportation routes for the exchange of both ideas and goods. Roman civilization flourished on the shores of the Mediterranean, leaving a legacy of beautiful cities with practical architecture, elaborate roadways, systems of government, and codes of law. However, both internal and external forces combined to push the empire towards collapse. To begin our study we are looking at the accomplishments of Rome in securing most of Europe, North Africa and parts of the Middle East in its empire. As part of the Roman Empire these areas were able to enjoy all the innovations created in Rome and passed on to their provinces.

This timeline of the Roman Empire might help you put things into perspective. It lists all the major accomplishments as well as all the Emperors.

The attached note taking sheet was used to record information while watching the video "Engineering an Empire."
external image msword.png Engineering an Empire worksheet.doc
The videos are available on my Glog if you need to watch them.

The Roman Empire worksheets that we are taking notes are listed below. The notes are below them.



The Roman Empire in its Glory:
The Roman Empire in Decay:
Reasons for the Fall of the Roman Empire:



For the mapping unit test you need to study the following:
  • Geographical terms
  • Using a legend and scale
  • Lines of lattitude and longitude (names of them as well as how to find places using them)
  • Using an alphanumeric grid system (like Battleship!)
  • Directions using a compass
  • Using thematic maps (physical, population, environmental, climate)
  • Continent names
  • Water bodies (oceans, seas, gulfs, straits, rivers) we have studied
  • Country and island names we have studied
  • Physical features of the world (capes, deserts, mountains)
These are all on the worksheets you did in class, so you only have to know the ones we have identified on the worksheets.