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Manorialism was an economic system that existed in Western Europe from about 1050 to 1300 CE. Serfs who worked for a lord farmed large fields. The lord owned the fields and lived in a large manor house. He owned between a third and a half of all the crops. The serfs also had a part of the fields for themselves. Serfs couldn’t leave the manor and they had to give the lord a certain amount of their crops, but they could keep the surplus. The serfs lived together communally and worked the fields together using the three crop rotation. There was also a church and a parson who had his own house and part of the crops. Lords who were warriors that defended the manor and attacked neighboring manors created manors. The serfs had originally paid allegiance to the lords as they protected them and gathered land and wealth. One short-term effect of manorialism was that it gave the peasants who worked the field better working conditions than the slaves had received in earlier Roman estates. The serfs had more control over their lives. Some of the long-term effects of manorialism were an increase in the quality of all living conditions, chivalry, and better treatment of women. As farming conditions improved and the output of workers became greater, the lords started renting the land to the serfs and gave them greater mobility. Lords sometimes sold this freedom to the serfs. The lords gained financial wealth through selling freedom and charging rent, and the serfs gained greater control over their lives. The lords also changed their savagery in fighting as warriors for the ideals of chivalry. Chivalry was the “obligation of fighting in defense of honorable causes.”(418) The ideas that chivalry cherished resulted in the respect and idealization of upper-class women. This was a small advancement in the treatment of women, but it was better than most conditions that had existed before. (415-420)

Magna Carta

In England, 12th century, the barons created the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta was created to hold the King to the law and limited his power to gather finances from the kingdom. The Magna Carta made the King recognize that he was the ruler of his subjects and that as their ruler he must recognize their rights. This document helped to prevent King John from financing a war to retrieve territories that were lost to France during his rule. Under the Mag...

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...to lead the West. As the Crusades declined so did the Popes power. Pope Boniface VIII fall from power was caused by the decline of the Crusades.(460) As the Crusades were misused by both the Church and the Crusaders, the papacy was weakened by the deleterious effects of the Crusade.(460) The papacy had called for the Crusades and led them. When success came the papacy was strengthened, but when the Crusades failed the Pope took the blame for the losses. All of the power and prestige that the Pope had earned was lost and the power of the Pope was questioned.

The Crusades of the Church helped to open trade between the East and the West. The victory of the First Crusade raised the confidence of the West and proved to them that the Pope was their spiritual and temporal leader. The savagery of the Crusades and the use of Gregory’s policies show how the Crusades brought out the terrible side of the religious fervor. The papacy suffered heavy political losses when people lost faith in the Crusades. The imperial motives of the Church were clearly revealed and the politics of Rome were shown to be clearly monarchial. The people lost faith in the Pope along with his idea of the Crusades.
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