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Medieval Europe

Lords, Ladies, Knights, and Serfs:  these were the people that lived during this time.  The life of all the people (classes) was
dominated by the feudal system - also called feudalism.  It placed people into a pyramid like the one on your study guide.
Medieval Europe, also called the Middle Ages, divided people into groups.  They all lived on large estates called manors.  The manor had a huge castle with a moat around it for safety.  The manor also included a church (remember Christianity was spreading like wildfire), a mill, and smaller houses for the serfs to live.  The lords controlled everything on the manor.  Knights were required to protect the lords and started training at the age of seven.  The serfs, or peasants, were the workers and had the hardest life. 
As time went on small towns developed and narrow streets were lined with shops to sell goods.  Traders and craftworkers organized themselves into groups called guilds.  Christianity was not the only thing that spread like wildfire.  A disease called the Black Death (Bubonic Plague) killed millions.  It was spread by a flea that lived on a rat.  It started in Europe and spread to Africa and Asia.
After the misery of this horrible disease, people had an enthusiasm for new ideas.  This time period, called the Renaissance, was a time of great creativity.  Many famous artists and works of art came from this time; like:  Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo.
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