Chapter 13-1 Notes - Sam Krupski - Mr. Masterson's WHCP - Per. #7 - Quarter 3 - January 2011

Key Words/People:


Middle Ages - the gradual decline of the Roman Empire, also known as the medieval period.
Franks - Germanic people who held power in the province of Gaul (present day France and Switzerland).
Monastery - Religious communities.
Secular - a worldly power involving politics.
Carolingian Dynasty - a family that would rule the Franks from 751 to 987.
Charlemagne: Ruled for 47 years.


Key Events:


Invasion of Western Europe



  • 5th century - Germanic invaders overran the western half of the Roman Empire. The repetition of constant conflict caused a sequence of changes that made Rome become different in aspects of economy, culture, and government.
  • There was a major and quite significant disruption of trade.
  • Downfall of important cities and empires quickly followed.
  • The population moved away from cities and into the countryside.


Decline of Learning



  • Due to the fact that everyone in the area fled, there was a disruption in learning. Most people didn’t know how to read and not many except for the church officials and the priests were literate. The once crucial necessity to read and write was almost lost. The Germanic tribes had much language and song, but no writing.


Loss of Common Language


  • As the Germans-speaking and Greek-speaking people came together, their language got mixed Latin changed. Many dialects evolved and by the 800s many languages had morphed from Latin.
  • Between 400 and 600 many Roman Provinces had turned into Germanic kingdoms. With all the warfare things were not steady and the size of cities changed. But the churches survived through the chaos.

The Concept of Government Changes



  • The entire concept of government changed because the Germanic people lived as communities with unwritten rules and traditions: much different from the Romans.
  • The Germanics thought it was important to have a strong relationship with anyone above them and would not trust or be loyal to any king they didn’t know. This made it hard for them to have and large governments.


Clovis Rules the Franks



  • In 496 Clovis, a Germanic leader in a group called the Franks, lead his troops against another Germanic army. The Franks won and asked a bishop to baptized
  • The church supported Clovis and eventually the Franks were united by their own kingdom. The tight bond between the church and the Franks began the start of a powerful partnership.


Germans Adopt Christianity


  • Politic spread Christianity Missionaries risked their loves to spread the religion around.
  • Monasteries, Convents, and Manuscripts
  • To adapt to the rural setting, the church built religious communities where Christian men and women could give up their personal positions and devote their lives to Christianity. Women were nuns and lived in convents and men were called monks.
  • A man named Benedict began to write a book including the rules for monasteries. His sister adopted these rules and used them as the rulebook for nuns.
  • The monasteries became Europe’s best educated communities. Monks opened schools and had books. One monk wrote what is thought to be the best historical work of the middle ages.


Papal Power Expands Under Gregory I



  • In 1590 Gregory I became pope. He helped improve Rome by doing things like fixing roads and helping the poor.
  • The idea of a churchly kingdom became very popular in the Middle Ages.
  • After the Roman Empire was destroyed, Europe became many small kingdoms. The Franks controlled the largest kingdom, by 511, the Franks controlled most of what is now France.


Charles Martel Emerges


  • By 700 an official known as mayor of the palace had become the most powerful part of the Frankish Kingdom. He ruled almost every aspect of the kingdom.
  • The mayor of the palace in 719 was Charles Martel. He expanded the Franks land and when he defeated the Muslims he became a Christian hero.
  • When he died, Charles Martel passed his power to his son, Pepin the Short. Pepin wanted to be king. He agreed to fight with the Lombards and the pope, in return began the Carolingian Dynasty, the family ruled from 751 to 987.


Charlemagne Becomes Emperor



  • Pepin died in 768. He passed down a strong kingdom to his 2 sons. Charles, a.k.a. Charlemagne, ruled as an imposing figure.
  • Charlemagne built a great empire. He fought many civilizations and conquered much more land. He spread Christianity and reunited Western Europe. He became the most powerful king in Western Europe.
  • In 800 Charlemagne went to split up a fight an unruly mob in order to save the pope. I thankfulness, the pope gave him the title of “Roman Emperor” this united the church, the Germanic power and the heritage of the Roman Empire.


Charlemagne Leads a Revival



  • Charlemagne made his power even stronger by limiting the power of the nobles. He was looked at in a positive way because of his encouragement of learning. He surrounded himself by people who spoke many different languages. He also spread religion by opening Monasteries that trained monks and priests for the future.


Charlemagne’s Heirs



  • A year before his death Charlemagne crowned his only son ruler. His son was very religious but not a strong ruler. Luis, son of Charlemagne, gave the job of ruler to three men. This ruined the whole system and all kings lost power, authority broke down and eventually a new type of government was created: feudalism.









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