Mr. Sedivy's History
Historical Figures Architecture



US Flag

Mr. Sedivy's
History Classes:

More Features:

Site Search
History QuotesHumor
Submit Links/Info
LinksWhat's New?
Shop for Stuff



Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Medieval History

- World History -
High Middle Ages / National Monarchies

Agricultural Revolution
New inventions (heavy plow, water wheel, windmill). The horse collar let horses do the work. Horses are faster and have more stamina than oxen - the old yokes choked horses. New inventions increase the food supply, increasing the population. Now, there were not as many serfs.

Trade and Commerce
The increase in population meant an increase in trade. Trade was mostly controlled by Italian city states of Milan, Venice, and Florence. There were new business methods: merchants pooled resources to finance large-scale trading. Moneychangers led to banking. They had "strong boxes," the people thought it was safe, and moneychangers would lend out money. This led to an increase in banking and guilds. There was growth of towns and cities because of more trade and the greater food supply.

Middle Class
The Middle Class grew because now there was a new group of people who were not tied to the land. They had no obligations to a lord. This led to an increase in specialized trade. The middle class grew quickly and prospered.

Medieval ManuscriptHand Manuscript
Left: Medieval Illuminated Manuscript.
Right: Artists at work at a manuscript and a panel painting.
From the pattern book of the Reun Monastery - 1200.
Before the printing press, books were copied and decorated by hand.

The increase in population and increase in trade led to a revival in learning. Universities developed as young men went to study with renowned scholars. University curriculum was based on the study of translations of Latin and Greek words.

Strong National Monarchies


England now had stronger kings with centralized authority. England became the first truly unified state under William the Conqueror. In 1066 he brought the Normans, descendents of the Vikings, across and conquered Harold, the Saxon King.

Bayeux Tapestry
Scene from the Bayeux Tapestry 1066.
The tapestry is the historical record of William the Conqueror.

Click the tapestry to view the entire Bayeux Tapestry.

Twenty years after the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror ordered a great survey of property owners in England. This was called the "Domesday Book" (or doomsday), because it spared no one and there was no appeal. William wanted to find out how much land people held so that he could be sure that he was getting all the taxes that were due him. The doomsday book recorded who owned land, how much land they owned, how many people worked the land, how many animals they owned, and how many pastures, mills, and fish ponds they had. The survey was completed in 1086.

Domesday Book
The Domesday Book can be seen at the Public Record Office in London.

Magna Charta (1215)
English Lords forced King John to grant them certain rights, including:

Taxation with representation.
Trial by a jury.
The king had to rule according to law. These rights only applied to the lords, only one-sixth of the population.


King Philip II established power over the French lords in 1202 by beating King John of England and taking his land. Louis IX (St. Louis is named for him) established a uniform code of laws for all of France, 1226 - 1270.

King Louis IX of France
Aware of his position as spiritual and political leader of France,
Louis IX guarded his royal prerogatives in his dealings with the bishops.

Italy and Germany
Italy and Germany both remained divided. In Italy, the Pope, various city-states, and local rulers divided power. In Germany, power was shared by numerous princes.

Back to Top of Page

1. Early Middle Ages: Dark Ages and Feudalism

2. Clovis, Charles the Hammer, Charlemagne,
Magyars, Vikings / The Life of a Serf

3. The Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages

4. High Middle Ages / National Monarchies

5. The Black Death

6. Knights, Heraldry, and Medieval Warfare

7. The Hundred Years War

8. Medieval Culture

8th- to 15th-Century Poems and Prose
Dante Alighieri, Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland & more.

Including: Divine Comedy, Beowulf, Canterbury Tales...
Medieval Poetry I
Medieval Poetry & Prose II

More Information
The Entire Bayeux Tapestry

Mr. Sedivy's Tour of Medieval Rothenburg

Medieval Penalties of Shame and Honor -
Crime and Punishment in the Middle Ages

Historical Periods of
World History Class Study

| Prehistory | Mesopotamia & Phoenicians |
| Ancient Egypt | Greece | Rome |
| Medieval History | The Renaissance |
| Exploration | National Monarchies |
| The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment |
| Colonial America and American Revolution |
| The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era



Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Modern European History | Advanced Placement European History | Rise of England | World History |
| Home | Back to Top of Page | Site Contents |