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    Peasant Life During the Medieval Time Period

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    Life for everyone was and is still hard. After the fall of the Rome took place in the fifth century, the Medieval Period began. This period lasted until the 15th century. Some of the major events that took place during the medieval time period were: The fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, The Battle of the Tours in 732, Treaty of Verdun in 843, The Ottonian Holy Roman Empire of Germany in 962, The Battle of Hastings in 1066, The Declaration of Magna Carta in 1215, The Great Famine in 1315 until 1317, The Hundred Years’ War in 1337. Another event was the Great Schism in 1378-1417.

    During this time the Black Death also came about lasting for two years. It started in 1348 and lasted until 1350. The Black Death was the most threatening epidemic of the European Medieval Time Period. This deadly disease weakened the feudal system and the Church of Europe. It was so widespread that it reduced the economic and political power in not only one, but two kingdoms. Peasants revolted against their manors and asked for better treatment. The everyday public was mad at several people. They were mad at the church because none of their prayers were being answered to save themselves or their people. They were also mad at the government for not being able to help them when they needed help the most.

    I decided to add some background information on the major events that took place during the Middle Ages to have a better understand, as a hole, on what happened as there is not very much information that is left in history about the peasants. However, The Battle of Tours started in 732. This battle was the victory over Frankish and Burgundian forces. Charles Martel was under all of the invasions. The Treaty of Verdun was signed in 843. This treaty was the first that divided the Carolingian Empire into three kingdoms. This treaty also ended the Carolingian Civil War. Next, The Battle of Hastings started in 1066.

    This battle was between the Norman-French army of William, the Duke of Normandy, and an English army under Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson. The began the Norman conquest of England. The Declaration of Magna Carta was signed in 1215. This declaration was the most significantly early influence on the historical process that led to the rule of the constitutional law today. The Great Famine started in 1315 and ended in 1317. This was the first series of a crisis that struck Europe. However, most of Europe was affected. The next major event was the Hundreds Year War. This war started in 1337 and lasted until 1453. This was a conflict by the House of Plantagenet rulers against the French House of Valois. They were at war for so long over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. Both of the houses had drawn allies into the war to try and help them win. The last major event was the Great Schism. This started in 1378 and lasted until 1417. This was over both political and religious causes. On the political side, was the splitting of the Roman Empire. And for the religious side, the Roman Catholic Church split. This church split because they had three men claiming to be the true pope. The Great Schism came to an end in 1417 when the Council of Constance had said enough is enough and made threats.

    As most social classes were, the medieval time period had three main social classes. The top highest one was the Aristocracy. This was the kings and their vassals. The middle class was called the Clergy, and this consisted of priests, monks, nuns, and friars. The bottom social class was the Commons. The Commons were your everyday people, like doctors, lawyers, clerks, and yeoman. Although there were three people that weren’t counted into these social categories: serfs, farmers, and peasants. Serfs were the poorest of these three. They were a type of slave and were owned by Lords. Lords had to own their own land in order to be able to own serfs. Serfs worked for their Lords in exchange for a place to live. They worked on the land maintaining crops. Serfs were expected to work and pay rent. Also, they couldn’t get an education or get married. They were required to have permission from their Lord to relocate. However, the farmers had an easier life. They had the privileges as the commons. They had their own land and worked for themselves. The peasants were poor but not as poor as the serfs were. They lived in the country or small villages in cottages. Peasants could also be educated and could get married if they could afford it. Not only did peasants live in these cottages, farmers did as well. These small cottages that they lived in were made of wood and reeds. The walls on the inside of the cottage were made of wattle and daub. From time to time, they brought their animals in for protection.

    Peasants had to work as well. They worked for their Lords just like the serfs did. There were two categories for the peasants that worked. The first was the part time peasants that worked three-day work weeks and the second was the full-time peasants that lived on the land of their lords. The part time peasants worked longer during harvest and plantation periods. The full-time peasants were called servants. They worked inside and out for their Lords. They are just like we know of them today. They serve food at the parties and dinners, clean, cook, help take care of the children, and do the outside work as well. However, they got Sundays off to go to Mass.

    Religion was a huge ordeal for every social class during The Medieval Time period. The main religion that they believed and practiced was Christianity. They were mainly Catholics. In everything that they did, they practiced and prayed.

    Like every human being, peasants ate also. Some of the things that they ate were bread, porridge, vegetables, and some meat. The main crops that they had were corn, wheat and beans. Peasants also grew things like lettuce, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, and beets.

    Clothing in the Medieval time period wasn’t all that fashionable. Men wore stockings or tunics. Women wore long gowns with sleeveless tunics and wimples to cover their hair. Both men and women wore sheepskin cloaks and woolen hats and gloves in the winter.

    Men and women were very different job wise. Women would work in the fields and cared for children while men would do all of the harder work. This was things like raising the livestock and working with metal.

    In conclusion, After the fall of the Rome took place in the fifth century, the Medieval Period began. This period lasted until the 15th century. Also, there isn’t a whole lot of information solely on the peasant life during the Middle Ages. However, there were a lot of major events that happened.

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