Medieval Period in European History

1575 Words Mar 14th, 2005 7 Pages
Introduction
The medieval period in European history begins after the fall of the Roman Empire around 500 C.E., and continued until the early modern period beginning around 1500. The medieval period is split into the sub-categories of early medieval (500-1000), central middle ages (1000-1300), late medieval (1300-1500), and followed by the early modern period (1500-1800). At each of these periods of time important political, economic, social, cultural, religious and scientific changes were being made in Western Europe.
Early Medieval
The collapse of the Roman Empire led to the emergence of three successor civilizations; Byzantium, Islam, and Western Europe. The absence of a strong central government led Western Europeans landowner's
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Elites would provide higher ranking nobles with feudal obligations of warriors, food, and/or animals in return for their protection or use of the land. After the schism in 1054 with the Byzantine emperor, Christianity was divided into Western Catholic and Eastern Orthodoxy sects. Urban masses began to challenge the authority of the church claiming that it no longer addressed the needs of the urban public. Heretics, like the Cathars and Albigensians, came into existence and spoke out about church wealth and believed in a dualistic theology. In response, the church instituted monastic reforms against worldliness and complacency within its ranks. In 1122, the power of the Papacy began to expand with the Concordat of Worms which was a compromise between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor over lay investiture. Also during this time, the Crusades played an important role in occupying professional soldiers. After the Byzantine emperor's plea for help to Pope Urban II crusading forces were assembled and traveled to the Holy Land. Over the next hundred years they would be four crusades with the first crusade being the most successful and the fourth crusade forever splitting Western Catholic church and the Eastern Orthodox church. As the central middle ages came to an end France and England evolved into centralized states, while the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor were fighting each other. During this period, an important document was drafted by the English in
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