January 25, 2013
Honors History period 6/7
Midterm Exam Essays
During the Medieval period, European society was divided into three estates. The first estate included the Holy church, and it made up about 5-10% of the population. The second estate was the nobles, knights, and warrior, and they also made up 5-10% of the population. The majority of the population was made up of the commons, the third estate. The only form if government the medieval times had was feudalism. Feudalism is a loose system of government where vassals give their obedience and service in exchange for land and protection. This form of government helped the lesser lords. The first estate, the pope was the leader of spiritual power. The pope declared papal supremacy, which meant he held power over all rulers. That included kings and other high-ranking rulers. Under the pope, the archbishop supervised the church activities. The bishops and archbishops were the nobles. The Pope also had his own territories. The church developed Canon law, which over looked many aspects of the medieval life such as marriages and wills. One of the main reasons the church held so much power was because of their will to excommunicate someone or a region. Excommunicating someone is like cutting them off of all life. None would want to even be seen with them, and they were not allowed to live in the town. They were damned to hell. The most important part of the feudalism society during the middle ages was the second estate. It contained the lords that started the form of government. Men who belonged to the second estate were able to own land and then gave it to vassals. This gained them more loyalty, which was directly to them and not the king. The men in the second estate wanted to have the most vassals because that would mean they would have the most loyalty towards them. Under the king and church, the lord had the most fiefs was the most powerful. Not only...
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