Background Information of Feudalism
Feudalism is gives kings the right to give land to nobles and knights for military service. If a noble or king gives land to a knight in return for military service, the knight becomes a vassal. Knights can accept land from more then one noble and become vassals for those nobles. Peasants worked on the land of nobles and kings. The peasants were given protection in exchange for them giving food and working on the noble's or king's land. The peasants also had to pay taxes. The taxes were things like part of their harvest and some of their money.
In the crusades, people fought over control of Palestine which was also called the Holy Land. The Holy Land is in Southwest Asia. In the beginning of the first crusade, peasants went to the Holy Land to try and capture it. Along the way, they were attacked by Jews in Germany. Before they could reach the Holy Land, Turkish troops killed most of them. After that, nobles went to Jerusalem to fight. The nobles won the first crusade.
In the second crusade, French and German kings set off to take land back from the Muslims. This crusade was a failure.
In the third crusade, the rulers of England, France, and the Holy Roman Empire sent armies out to the Holy Land to fight for Jerusalem. The armies lost and the Muslims still had control over the Holy Land.
In the fourth crusade, French knights went to Venice to sail to the Holy Land. They didn't have enough money to get to the Holy Land so the people there said that they should attack Zara to pay for the journey. The armies defeated Zara and took the treasure there. Later the knights went back and attacked Constantinaple and defeated them well.
Other crusades followed but none were succesful. Muslim armies reclaimed all of the Holy Land. The Cristians and the Jews all failed to get any part of he Holy Land. Pope Urban II helped protect Constantinaple from the Turks. King Richard I was the only leader in the third crusade that stayed in the Holy Land. Saladin, leader of the Muslims, fought against King Richard and won.
The Black Death
The black death was a deadly plague that swept through Europe between 1347 and 1351. The plague consisted of different diseases including the Bubonic plague. The Black Death killed so many people, that they dug pits and dumped bodies into them. The plague killed about 25 million people or about one-third of Europe's population. The Black Death was spread by fleas that bit plague ridden rats and then bit humans. When the fleas bit the humans, they transfered the disease to the humans. The Black Death brought about panic through Europe and people moved away which helped spread the disease further. Ships from Asia that docked in Mediterranian ports, brought the rats from Asia.
The Magna Carta
The Magna Carta was created in 1215 by a group of nobles who decided to force the king to respect their rights. These nobles forced King John to sigh the document listing rights that the king could not ignore. This document was the Magna Carta. The king had to honor certain rights required by the Magna Carta. Among these rights was the habeas corpus. The habeas corpus kept people from going to jail without a reason. Previously, kings could sent people to jail without a reason. Now they would would have to have a fair trial before they were sent to jail. The Magna Carta kept the king from acting outside the law. The English were inspired by the Magna Carta so they tried to find more ways to make the king have less power. A council of nobles was created to advise the king and later became the Parliament. People wanted judges to be free of royal control so that everyone would be treated fairly. Most judges would side with the king that chose them. In the 1600s, the king agreed to release control over the court.
Kings and Popes
Popes and kings both had power. Kings had political power and popes had religious power. Although they had power there was a big difference between the two.
Hundred Years' War
Even though England changed its government because of the Magna Carta, those outside of the country were not affected. Kings kept ruling as they always have. However these kings also had to face big political changes. France was one of the countries that political changes occurred. In 1828, the French king died without any sons. Two men claimed his throne. One was French and the other was king of England. In the end, the French man became king. The English king became mad so he invaded France. The Hundred Years' War was a long conflict between England and France. In the beginning the English armies were winning. After almost 100 years of conflict a, teenage peasant girl named Joan of Arc, rallied the French troops. When the English finally captured and killed Joan, it was too late.In 1453, the French drove the English out of their country. The Hundred Years' War changed government in both England and France.