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HIST201: History of Europe, 1000 to 1800

Unit 1: The Middle Ages   By the tenth century, Germanic monarchs had established and consolidated kingdoms across Europe.  The Catholic Church also extended its power during this period; church reforms and the threat of Islamic expansion renewed the Church’s authority in European politics and society.  The Crusades—a series of religious wars launched by the Holy Roman Empire to restore Christian control of the Holy Land—which began in 1096, were the most conspicuous sign of the rise and expansion of Christian Europe.

But by the fourteenth century, warfare, the arrival of the bubonic plague, and conflicts within the Catholic Church laid the foundation for the eventual collapse of medieval society.  In this unit, we will see how the consolidated power of the Church and various monarchies during the High Middle Ages gave way to deep religious and political divisions within Europe by 1300.

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 9 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.4: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.5: 1 hour

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Identify the major features of Medieval society, both politically and socially.
  • Describe major characteristics of Medieval thought and religion.
  • Explain the effects of the Black Death on Europe.

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Legacy of the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages in the West” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Legacy of the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages in the West” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please read “The Legacy of the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages in the West.” This reading will provide you with an overview of the European medieval period.  

1.1 Medieval Kingdoms and Peoples   1.1.1 The Frankish Kingdom   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Frankish Empire” Link: The Saylor Foundations “The Frankish Empire” (PDF).
 
Instructions: Please read “The Frankish Empire.” This reading will help provide you with a sense of the expansion of the Frankish kingdom from the Merovingians to the Carolingians.

1.1.2 Charlemagne and the Carolingian Renaissance   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 20: Charlemagne and the Carolingian Renaissance” Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History:  “Lecture 20: Charlemagne and the Carolingian Renaissance”(HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entire lecture linked here.Dr. Kreis’s lecture will provide you with an overview of the reign of Charlemagne and the “renaissance” of Frankish culture. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European Intellectual History: “Lecture 15: Europe and the Superior Being: Napoleon”; HistoryDoctor.net: Dr. Larry D. Gates’s (ed.) “The Era of Napoleon Bonaparte” Links: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European Intellectual History: “Lecture 15: Europe and the Superior Being: Napoleon” (HTML); HistoryDoctor.net: Dr. Larry D. Gates’s (ed.) “The Era of Napoleon Bonaparte” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read the entire lecture 15 linked above.  Then, read “The Era of Napoleon Bonaparte” in its entirety.
     
    Note on the Text: Lecture 15 will discuss the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, who established himself as dictator of France in 1799.
    This online text was developed by Dr. Steven Kreis as an open educational resource for use in undergraduate history courses.  Dr. Steven Kreis teaches history at American Public University.  The second reading, “The Era of Napoleon Bonaparte” will give you a sense of Napoleon’s reign and his conquest of Europe.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.3 Medieval France: The Fall of the Carolingian Empire   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Fall of the Carolingian Empire.” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Fall of the Carolingian Empire” (PDF).
 
Instructions: Please read “The Fall of the Carolingian Empire.” This reading will discuss the state of French society in the late Carolingian period.

1.1.4 Medieval England   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Lives of Medieval Peasants” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Lives of Medieval Peasants” (PDF).
 
Instructions: Please read “The Lives of Medieval Peasants.” This reading will give you an idea of daily life in Medieval England.

1.1.5 The Peoples of the Middle Ages and Their Languages   - Reading: Western Michigan University’s The Medieval Institute: Peter S. Barker’s Introduction to Old English: “The Anglo-Saxons and Their Language” Link: Western Michigan University’s The Medieval Institute: Peter S. Barker’s Introduction to Old English: “The Anglo-Saxons and Their Language “(HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire article linked above.  From this reading you’ll get a sense of the language groups of Northern Europe and how they relate to Indo-European languages in general.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.2 Medieval Thought   1.2.1 The Medieval World View   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 3: The Medieval World View (2)”  Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lecture on Ancient and Medieval European History:Lecture 3: The Medieval World View (2)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entire webpage. This lecture will provide you with an overview of the major intellectual trends of the European medieval period.  
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

1.2.2 The 12th Century Renaissance   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 26: The 12th Century Renaissance” Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 26: The 12th Century Renaissance” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entire webpage linked here.  This reading will help give you a sense of the major developments of the 1100s—the dissemination of knowledge and the emergence of universities.  
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.2.3 Aquinas and Dante   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 28: Aquinas and Dante” Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 28: Aquinas and Dante” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entire webpage.  This lecture discusses two influential medieval thinkers—St. Thomas Aquinas and Dante Alighieri.  
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.3 Medieval Society and Culture   1.3.1 The Three Orders   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 23: Medieval Society: The Three Orders” Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 23: Medieval Society: The Three Orders” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entire webpage.  This lecture gives an overview of the emergence of the classes of peasants, nobles, and clergy.  
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.3.2 Feudalism   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 21: Feudalism and the Feudal Relationship” Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 21: Feudalism and the Feudal Relationship” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entire webpage.  This reading will provide an overview of the feudal system, which emerged during the Carolingian era.  
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.3.3 Manorialism   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 22: European Agrarian Society: Manorialism” Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 22: European Agrarian Society: Manorialism” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entire webpage.  This lecture gives an overview of the development of serfdom, a system that dominated the agricultural society of the Middle Ages.  
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.3.4 The Black Death   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 29: Satan Triumphant: The Black Death” Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 29: Satan Triumphant: The Black Death” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entire webpage.  This lecture describes the death and destruction that were unleashed by the bubonic plague in medieval Europe.  
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Medieval Source Book: Paul Halsall’s version of M. Rigg’s translation of Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron: “Introduction” Link: Fordham University’s Internet Medieval Source Book: Paul Halsall’s version of M. Rigg’s translation of Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron: “Introduction” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this entire webpage, which describes the onset of the bubonic plague in Italy.  A merchant ship returning to Italy from the Crimea in 1347 carried a deadly disease that would devastate Europe—the bubonic plague.  The plague reduced the European population by one third by 1400.  In this text, Boccaccio describes the social and psychological effects of the plague in Florence, Italy.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.4 The Medieval Church   1.4.1 Early Medieval Monasticism   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Early Medieval Monasticism” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Early Medieval Monasticism” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read “Early Medieval Monasticism.” This reading discusses how the monastic movement shaped medieval civilization.

1.4.2 Holy Crusades   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 25: The Holy Crusades” Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 25: The Holy Crusades” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entire webpage.  This lecture discusses how and why Western Christendom tried to free the Holy Lands from Islamic influence during the Middle Ages.  
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.4.3 Heretics and Heresies   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 27: Heretics, Heresies, and the Church” Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 27: Heretics, Heresies, and the Church” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entire lecture linked here.  In this lecture, Dr. Kreis addresses the creation of Church dogma and the expansion of heresy during the medieval period.  
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.5 The Calamitous Century   1.5.1 Consequences of the Black Death   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 30: In the Wake of the Black Death” Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History: “Lecture 30: In the Wake of the Black Death” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entire lecture on this webpage.  This lecture will provide you with a sense of the economic and cultural impact of the Black Death as well as the outbreak of the Hundred Years’ War.  
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.5.2 The Hundred Years’ War   - Reading: University of Kansas: Professor Lynn Harry Nelson’s “Lectures in Medieval History:” “The Hundred Years’ War, 1336-1453” Link: University of Kansas: Professor Lynn Harry Nelson’s “Lectures in Medieval History:” “The Hundred Years’ War, 1336-1453” (HTML)

 Instructions:  Please read the entire lecture and review the maps
on the webpage.  This reading gives a good overview of a war that
encapsulated medieval England and France.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.