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The High Middle Ages Essay

1314 words - 6 pages

John Foster
March 6, 2014
Professor Carta

The High Middle Ages
The Christian religions rise to supremacy in the middle ages was the result of several factors. Christians had long been persecuted by the Roman Empire because the Romans felt that Christianity challenged and offended the Greco-Roman Gods and the Christians were prone to revolt against Roman rule. Christianity survived because it had many teachings that appealed to the downtrodden in Roman society, these teachings being that even though they were suffering they would gain equality and possibly superiority in the next life, Christianity gave them hope.
When Emperor Constantine “converted” to Christianity, this ...view middle of the document...

The Catholic Church gained so much influence during this time that it controlled politics and it had the ability to raise an army to defeat rulers who rebelled against the church and replace it with one of its choosing.
The Crusades are considered a failure because they did not reach the goals that they set out to accomplish. Two hundred years of conflict resulted in a tremendous loss of life and a vast expenditure of wealth the main goal of controlling the Holy Land unrealized as it remained under Muslim control.
There are several of reasons why the crusades did not accomplish their goals. The Christian community was divided into two sects the Romans Catholics and the Greek Orthodox who were very antagonistic towards each other. This rift did not allow them to consolidate power and after the first Crusade the emperors in Constantinople did not help and in some cases worked against the crusades. A lack of an adequate navy forced the Crusaders to travel overland to reach the holy land. This journey was long and difficult with the armies having to travel through deserts and cross mountain ranges instead of moving by ship across the Mediterranean Sea. After conquering part of the Holy Land in the first crusade the Crusaders lacked the man power to properly occupy the territory in the face of a determined enemy. These are the main reason the Crusades failed (The End of the Medieval Crusades n.d.).
The feudal system developed because of the collapse of the Roman Empire. The citizenry of Western Europe need some form of protection from invaders that had some structure so the feudal system was born. People of means provided protection for those in the lower classes in return for loyalty to them. This system allowed the people to have a sense of security and developed a sense of cooperation between the classes.
Monarchs owned the land and he would divide the land that he did not need up between the men who were called lords in return for loyalty to him in times of war. The lords enlisted soldiers who were called knights to be the fighting force in these wars. The lowest people in the feudal system were called peasants; these people farmed the land to provide food and provided other services for the kingdom in exchange for protection.
The rise of towns in the late middle ages had a direct effect on the feudal system in the middle ages. As agricultural practices improved production of crops was accomplished with less labor this allowed farmers to turn their attention to other endeavors which allowed them to make more money. The noble class was forced to sell the peasants their freedom so they could fund the crusades, pay loans and buy luxury items. The peasants not being tied to the farm, produced goods that could be sold at the local market place which gave many the funds to by their freedom. The market place where they sold these...

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