The Postclassical Period: New Civilization Emerges in Western Europe

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III. The Postclassical Period: Chapter 15- A New Civilization Emerges in Western Europe
A. Chapter 15- A New Civilization Emerges in Western Europe
1. Postclassical period in Western Europe known as the Middle Ages
a. Stretches between the fall of the Roman Empire and the fifteenth century
2. Civilization gradually spread beyond the Mediterranean 3. Christian missionaries converted Europeans from polytheistic faith
4. Medieval Europe participated in emerging international community
5. New tools and crops expanded agricultural output; advanced technologies improved manufacturing
6. Mathematics, science, and philosophy were stimulated by new concepts.
B. Stages of Postclassical Development
1. Middle of the sixth century C.E. until about 900, disorder in western Europe
a. Rome's fall left Italy in economic, political, and
Intellectual decline
2. Catholic Church remained strong
a. Muslim-controlled Spain maintained a vibrant intellectual and economic life
b. Only later influenced European development
3. The center of the postclassical West was in France, the Low Countries, and southern and western Germany
a. England later joined
4. Continual raids by Scandinavian Vikings hindered political and economic development
5. Intellectual activity sharply diminished
a. Most literate individuals were Catholic monks and priests
C. The Manorial System: Obligations and Allegiances.
1. Until tenth century, most political organization was local 2. Manorialism was system of reciprocal economic and political obligations between landlords and peasants
a. Most individuals were serfs living on self-sufficient agricultural estates (manors)
b. In return for protection, they gave lords part of their crops and provided labor services
3. Inferior technology limited agricultural output until ninth century
a. Introduction of the moldboard plow and the three- field cultivation system increased yields
4. Serfs were not slaves
a. They had heritable

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