The medieval government in western Europe exercised feudalism which also established the structure of political powers. Kings held the most authority while lords and knights were above peasants. These relationships were able to continue since government was local rather than centralized. Though the government remained local in a majority of kingdoms, leaders wanted to expand their land. Wars became more frequent as a result of expansion, so the formation of allies became more important. For further protection, strict laws were passed and the judicial court system evaluated criminals. The Church made itself a part of the courts through the use of symbolic interpretation as the judgment of God. Torture and biased decisions were common as well, especially in the Catholic Church Inquisition. However, some kingdoms had a limited government. A consensus had to be made by an assembly rather than court judgment. Therefore, the political structure held its own authoritative power while religion was incorporated into some areas of government.
Religion had a similar structure to the government, held great power as an individual institution, and influenced parts of culture in medieval western Europe. The hierarchy in the Church established the pope in the highest position while local bishops overlooked the priests. The organization of the Church gave it extensive power beyond spiritual order across the ...
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...outside of western Europe. Overall, the Roman Catholic Church united large masses of land while it influenced art and education. Therefore, the medieval period left western Europe at an advantage since it displayed a more aggressive attitude about the power of a civilization.
Medieval western Europe had political, religious, economic, and cultural aspects that contributed to its distinct identity. To an extent, government and religion were one, yet each held separate responsibilities and powers. The economy was based on local agriculture and job specialization, which eventually introduced more trade. With a stable economy, educational systems were built for scholarship and theological studies for the emphasis on Christianity. These developments were what held medieval western Europe at an advantage in comparison to other civilizations of the postclassical period.
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