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Unit 3: Lecture 4

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Dustin Harrison

on 28 June 2015

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Transcript of Unit 3: Lecture 4

l Political

entralized Sta

Western Europe
Early Middle Ages
(~500 CE - 1000)
Political Development
Compared to the other three "New" Empires, Western Europe was considerably backward
Unlike the others, decentralized
Economic Developments
Lack of central authority led many peasants to seek protection on manors
These peasants became serfs
Right to work some land
Kept portion, but majority of earnings went to the lord
Also paid taxes to use the lord's mill
And provided labor in the off season
Could pass the right on to children
Could NOT leave
Cultural Developments
Came closer to reestablishing imperial control under leadership of Clovis
and later, the Carolingian Empire of Charlemagne
Both leaders used the Roman Catholic Church to strengthen legitimacy
But ultimately unsuccessful in setting up a political structure that could outlast their rule
Feudal System
Land given to vassals in exchange for military service & loyalty
Allowed lords/vassals to gain and compete for power, but no real central authority
The Church & the Pope
The main centralizing power during the period
By 13th century, the Church owned 1/3 of all the land in Europe
Also had their own private armies - knights
Introduction of heavy plow led to an increase in ag production
Surplus not large enough to sustain cities and towns in the early Middle Ages

Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period
13th - 17th centuries - cities began to grow
Trade increased: trade organizations developed
Hanseatic League: alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds
Controlled trade in Northern Europe
Social status - determined by birth
Noblewomen had more power than peasant women (could inherit if widowed or no sons)
Marriage was the key to political power
Marital alliances were strategic
Nunneries allowed a woman to escape traditional duties
Some women could exercise leadership skills
Chivalry: code of conduct
Developed around 12th century
Stressed honor, modesty, loyalty, and duty
As warfare decreased, incorporated courtly romance and knight participation in tournaments
Unlike in Japan (bushido), not effective at controlling the military men's behavior
More of an IDEAL, rather than actual code of conduct
Principal source of religious, moral, and cultural authority during period
Strong papal leadership contributed to this influence
Monasteries - dominant feature in social and cultural life
Often had large landholdings
Monks preserved classical knowledge by hand-copying great literature and philosophical works
(600 CE - 1000)
Political Development
Economic Developments
Cultural Developments
Geography - led to small, isolated independent communities (often self-sufficient)
Clan members cooperated like a large, extended family
by 600s, Yamato clan gained religious and cultural influence
Wanted to copy China's model of empire-building
Began to call themselves emperors of Japan
Unsuccessful in creating centralized state
Fujiwara Clan (dominated between 710-785 CE
Sent emissaries to China & modeled capital Nara on Changan
Could not successfully introduce Chinese-style bureaucracy
Instead, a strict hereditary hierarchy developed
Kamakura Shogunate
Emperor and court kept capital in Kyoto
Yet, a military dictatorship existed, ruled by powerful, landholding clans
Japanese feudalism!
Shogun controlled centralized military government
Divided land among military leaders - daimyos
Warriors that fought for them - samurai
Developed strict warrior code - bushido
Emperor remained in power - only as symbolic figure
Many shoguns overthrown (but not the emperor)
Predominantly agrarian
Artisan class of weavers, carpenters, and ironworkers
Trade regulated by clan leaders
Trade more developed in Kamakura Period (1185–1333)
Foreign trade with Korea & China
Most people were peasants who worked land own by a lord or a Buddhist monastery
Freedom limited
Could keep what was left of harvest after paying tax quota
Those unable to pay taxes - genin
Genin - landless laborers that could be bought and sold with land (slaves)
Shinto - native religion of Japan
Everything has a spirit (or kami)
shrines built to honor kami
Nature was awe-inspiring
First ruler from Yamato clan claimed descent from supreme deity, the Sun Goddess
Foreign influence
Japan adopted many foreign ideas, but remained culturally true to its own traditions
Strongly influenced by China & Korea
Adopted Chinese technology, writing, and Buddhism
Had its own version - Zen Buddhism
During Heian period (794-1185), contact with China was cut off
Turned focus to Japanese cultural values
In a lavish court lifestyle, women dominated literature
Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki
Inherited land from husbands & often owned land
Priestesses dominated religious life
Over time, lost much power and influence
Identify key Characteristics of Feudal Europe and Japan
Compare Eastern and Western Europe
Compare Western Europe and Japan (600 - 1450)
Feudal Japan and Europe developed much differently than their centralized counterparts
Understanding how Western Europe was Developing will better understand how modern states formed
Compare/contrast Western & Eastern Europe during this period.
Compare/contrast feudal Europe & Japan.
Analyze the continuities and changes in Europe from 600 CE to 1450.
Compare/Contrast European & Japanese Feudalism
Full transcript