The Rise of Feudal States

Essential Question

How does leadership effect a society?

The Fall of the Roman Empire

After Rome faced many troubles from plague, invaders, and political instability, it split into two separate empires. The eastern half lived on as the Byzantine Empire and the western side lived on in feudal states (also known as Medieval Europe).

The Beginning of Disunity

As the western side lived on, it wasn't always in these feudal states. Feudal states began as viking and barbarian raids were plaguing the area. People began to look for protection with their local leaders, rather than a central authority, which didn't really exist at this time.

The Rise of the Feudal States

As villages continued to be raided, local leaders began to realize what they could gain from such a situation as people coming to them for protection. Local leaders began to charge people for protection, whether from work or paying gold, the people of the villages had to pay in some way for their protection. This led to the creation of feudal society.

Charlemagne and the Carolingian Empire

There was a period of time when the feudal states existed as a single empire, the Carolingian Empire, under an emperor. This emperor's name was Charlemagne. Charlemagne was crowned the Holy Roman Emperor by Leo III in 800 CE. This formalized his role as protector of the Catholic Church.

The Fall of the Carolingian Empire

After the death of Charlemagne, the Carolingian Empire fell into a state of disunity. Devastated by the death of Charlemagne, the empire once again divided into feudal states.

To Sum Up Society...

Example of a Successful Kingdom

The Franks

Establishing a kingdom at this time was a difficult thing. Many kingdoms established by others fell apart, but there is one kingdom that was pretty good at staying together. The Franks were a group of western Germanic people. They established their own kingdom and it managed to stay together. This makes them some of the most important barrians to establish a kingdom.


Essential Question

Let's revisit the essential question...

How does leadership effect a society?

Critical Thinking Question

What was the primary reason the feudal system thrived in medieval europe?

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