Middle Ages to the French Revolution- POPE

Governmental and Political


First Crusade

1095 AD - 1099 AD

Pope Urban called for a crusade against the Muslims, who had taken Jerusalem and attacked the Byzantines. Thousands of crusaders traveled to the Holy Land in response to the pope's call. They retook Jerusalem. This demonstrated the power that the pope had over people of all kingdoms in Western Europe.
Western Heritage


Sumptuary Laws

1327 AD - 1377 AD

Because of the class struggles, the authorities put Sumptuary Laws into effect. Sumptuary Laws were designed to control what people ate by class. They also dictated who you ate with and how much you could eat. Most of them were created during King Edward III's reign from 1327-1377 AD. However, they remained until Queen Victoria's time. They were not very enforcable and did not subdue any class issues.
Facts on File

Black Death

1347 AD - 1350 AD

Rats came over to Europe from the East via trade routes. Fleas on the rats were infected with the Bubonic Plague, or the Black Death, and they spread it to the people. There was a huge famine in the midst of heavy overpopulation, which also contributed to the spread of the disease. As a result of the plague, many farm workers moved to the cities to work as artisans. The nobles lost power and the artisans rose because the farm laborers were hard to find and therefore their salaries high, and there were less people to feed, so the nobles got less for their product.
The Western Heritage

Growth of Cities

1350 AD

The cities grew mainly because of the Black Death. Because of the plague, the cities made new laws that included people who had previously been unaffected by cities. As this happened, they became involved in city life. Because of the large number of deaths and the shortage of people to make luxury items, more people moved to the cities to become skilled workers. This large growth of artisans gave them poiltical strength. This class became a threat to the merchants and upper classes. Eventually, the artisans were given a voice in local government.
The Western Heritage

Guild Gains Importance


Because of the plague and the rise of the artisans, the artisan guilds began to gain importance in the towns. They made new laws that protected the local businesses. The master artisans wanted to expand their businesses slowly and keep their power, but the less experienced journeymen wanted things to happen quickly so that they could become masters themselves. This caused increased social conflict within the artisan class, which added to the class struggle.
The Western Heritage

Statute of Laborers


Because of the plague and the rise of the artisans, the landowners and nobles did everything they could to keep their power. In 1351, they made the Statute of Laborers, which tried to keep the peasants on the farms and limit their salaries. In response to this, the peasants revolted against the higher classes for their rights, creating a social class war.
The Western Heritage

English Peasant Revolt of 1381


Because of the heavy taxes from Parliament and the Statute of Laborers, which oppressed their rights, the English peasants joined together in a revolt. They sacked several towns and complained to the king, who promised to get rid of the extreme oppression on the lowest class. The leader of the revolt, Wat Tyler, was assassinated, which ended the revolt. Although the king won, the peasants let everyone know they were willing to fight and would not be peacefully subdued any longer. The revolt sparked other revolts later and began to get the peasants more recognition and less oppression.
Facts on File

The Arts

Romanesque Architecture

1050 AD - 1200 AD

The Romanesque style of architecture are often likened to fortresses. They have thick walls, round ceilings, and big columns. This style showed the importance of warfare and nobility in the Middle Ages. The people valued fighting and this style was pulled into their architecture.
The Western Heritage

Bayeux Tapestry

1070 AD

The Bayeux Tapestry was probably comissioned by Odo, the Bishop of Bayeux. It is 231 feet long and features the Norman Conquest and the Battle of Hastings. This shows the importance the people put on their conquests. The people of the Middle Ages considered the war heros to be the celebrities. They immortalized the stories of big battles and enjoyed telling the stories to others. They valued winning battles.
Facts on File

Gothic Architecture Begins

1150 AD

The transition to Gothic style architecture began about 1150. The new style featured thinner walls, tall pointed ceilings, large stained glass windows, and lots of ribbing. This new style showed the transition into enlightenment and beauty. The people now focused less on warfare and more on the intellectual things.
The Western Heritage

Canterbury Tales

1400 AD

The Canterbury Tales, written by Geoffrey Chaucer, are the most famous stories from the Middle Ages. There are twenty-four different stories included in the volume. It was incomplete, but he died before he could finish it. His popularity, especially after he died and his works were published, showed the progression towards the Renaissance that they were undergoing at the end of the Middle Ages.
Facts on File


Horse Collar System

800 AD

The people on the farms used mostly oxen to plow their fields. Then, around 800 AD, the horse collar was brought to Europe from Asia via the Silk Road. This invention distributed the weight of the plow but did not suffocate it. Because of this, the people were able to plow their fields much faster. This contributed to the rise of the single-family dwelling.
The Western Heritage, Facts on File


900 AD

The horseshoe was brought to Europe around 900 AD. It allowed the horses to work better and faster. It contributed to the rise of the single-family dwelling and allowed peasants to be more independent. The nobles began to lose their grip on their tenants.
The Western Heritage

Three Field System

1000 AD - 1500 AD

The open field system had lots of little strips of land that different families owned. The new system, the three-field system, had three different fields. Families would own a strip of land in each one. One was a spring field, one was a fall field, and one was pastureland. The fields rotated. This aerated the soil and produced better crops. This changed the lives of the peasants because they got more crops and could better survive on their own. The nobles began to lose power over the peasants because of it.
Facts on File

Peter of Abelard

1079 - 1142

Peter Abelard was a big supporter of Aristotle's teachings, which posed a threat to the Catholic church. He was hated by a lot of people. He secretly married a young girl, and then her uncle exposed the marriage and separated them forever. Abelard spent the rest of his life in a monastary. This affected the people because they saw someone challanging the Catholic church and all its teachings. This attitude of curiosity and thinking about what you are being taught helped transition Europe into the Renaissance.

The Western Heritage

University of Bologna Founded

1158 AD

Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa established the University of Bologna in 1158. At first, they were unwelcome and were treated poorly by the locals, who considered them to be foreigners. The students at Bologna are most famous for the study and revival of Roman Law under Justinian. The creation of the university was a major step for popular education. The common people could now learn. The clergy was not the only educated group anymore. This paved the way for the Renaissance.
The Western Heritage

University of Paris Founded

1200 AD

The University of Paris was the university that most northern European colleges began to model their schools afterwards. Because of this, the college was born. The college originated as cheap dwelling for students, but soon became very much like the university. Because of these universities, the townspeople grew to hate students. They would abuse them or treat them poorly. This was due in part to the snooty behavior of the students, but the law was clearly on the side of the students. This affected the commoners because they had to live with the students in their towns and put up with their behavior.
The Western Heritage