Feudalism was the economic, political, and social system that characterized medieval Europe from about 1000 to 1300. For more than a thousand years, a people known as the Romans controlled most of Europe and all the lands bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. The Romans were as skilled at government administration as they were at building things. The fall of Rome led to the development of feudalism. But in the eighth century, one Germanic king managed to bring much of Europe under his control. That king was Charlemagne, or “Charles the Great,” the first Holy Roman Emperor. Charlemagne was king of a German tribe known as the Franks Charlemagne ruled from 768 to 814. During his long reign, there was stability in western Europe. But when Charlemagne died, his grandsons were unable to keep his empire together. The result was a breakdown in central government again, although Charlemagne’s laws survived as the basis for the medieval kingdoms of France and Germany. The lack of a central government led to the development of the feudal system. This feudal system grew out of people’s need for protection. With no strong kings to maintain law and order, people turned to local lords for help. Charlemange
Charlemagne (c.742-814), also known as Karl and Charles the Great, was a medieval emperor who ruled much of Western Europe from 768 to 814. •
In 771, Charlemagne became king of the Franks, a Germanic tribe in present-day Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and western Germany. •
He embarked on a mission to unite all Germanic peoples into one kingdom, and convert his subjects to Christianity. •
A skilled military strategist, he spent much of his reign engaged in warfare in order to accomplish his goals. •
In 800, Pope Leo III (750-816) crowned Charlemagne emperor of the Romans. •
When he died in 814, Charlemagne’s empire encompassed much of Western Europe, and he had also ensured the survival of Christianity in the West.
Explain how the fall of...
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