World History 9A, Assignment Six, Western Europe in the Middle Ages

Assignment Five
Western Europe in the Middle Ages

Deadline, Oct. 28, 125 points

Click here to go back to the
web site for History 9A.



Never fear. Gerald is here to help you.








What were the elements of daily life in Europe during the Middle Ages?

How did the changes from 1340 to 1450 change our world?

The keep at Porchester Castle

The keep at Porchester Castle, England


There is no way we can cover all of the Middle Ages, but we can look at some of the significant events that changed the world forever afterward. The is especially true of the years from 1340 to 1450. During that time, the world pretty much turned upside down.


During this lesson, students will evaluate the key factors related to one of the assigned events from the time period we are studying.


Topic One
The Plague
One Two Three Four
Ammon and company

Topic Two
The Textile Industry in Italy

Andrew and company

Topic Three
The Hundred Years War
One  Two Three Four Five
Matt and company

Topic Four
The Avignon Split

Brynlee and company


Topic Five
The Invention of the Printing Press

One Two
Emma and company

Teach us about  >>

  • The background of your event. What led up to it? Who was involved? Please be specific and address the context of your event.
  • Why your chosen event was huge __________ (list at least four reasons). Please make this clear and easy to understand.
  • Provide us with AT LEAST two very significant examples of how your topic has influenced the world in which we live.
  • You need to email a two or three paragraph summary of your findings to me. I will compile them into a written document I will post to the site.





Did the presentation explain why the chosen event was important by using at least four reasons?
Think about clarity, being specific and timely.
Possible 75 points

Was the presentation clear and easy to follow?
Think about organization and accessiblity.
Possible 20 points

Did the presentation provide at least two examples of how the topic shaped the modern world?
Think about how this connects to the world in which we live.
Possible 30 points



Collapse of Feudalism Essays
Mr. Robbins, First Hour

The Printing Press
Emily Dustin, Ainsley Anderson, Lucy Gentry, Edith Pack, Emma Jackson, and Malia Tietjen
The printing press was a huge invention recognized as one of the most important inventions of our time.  By making it easier to produce copies of books, it allowed printed information to be distributed far more than ever before.  This led to changes in society including more people reading and the spread of knowledge that influenced science and even democracy. 
Before the printing press, books were expensive and rare. To create books, monks in a monastery would hand copy texts, usually in a room called the scriptorium. Books were usually also owned by these monasteries or by cathedrals, along with rich people and educational institutions such as universities. Later in the 12th century, guilds of artisans began to appear. During this later time, scribes who were not monks also worked to copy texts. Later during the 1300s a rudimentary printing press was made using blocks of wood. Most books would be of a religious nature, like the Bible. If a family was lucky enough to own a book, it would be a Bible. 
Johannes Gutenberg, whose full name is Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg, is credited with the invention of the printing press. He was born June 24, 1400, and died February 3, 1468, of a heart attack. He was a blacksmith, goldsmith, and a printer. But why did Johannes Gutenberg invent the printing press? He was in desperate need of money. He noticed that if he could mass produce something, he could get a lot of money from it. So he invented the first printing press, which had the capability to mass produce books. He wanted to mainly produce the Bible because at the time most people did not have one but every one wanted one. The printing press was originally established in Mainz, Germany, some time around 1440 A.D. but eventually spread throughout the world.
At the time of its invention, the printing press influenced people by allowing more than just the rich to have books. Because many more books were able to be made more cheaply, the printing press made it so everybody could have books. Widespread printing of the Bible helped the spirituality of the people and led to more independent thought about Christianity.  Although the first book that was made on the printing was the Bible, it was so successful that they soon made other books and sold them.
The printing press also had a major effect on the technology of today. The printing press started the push towards other means of mass producing texts such as the electric printer. The printing press led to development of the typewriter and eventually the computer and electronic printers.  Also, because many Bibles and other important books were printed at the time the printing press was invented, we now have many old copies of these books that provide a better record of history from that period.

Italian Textile Industry in The Late Middle Ages
Mateo, Jesse, Daniel, Cade, Zach
Italy was very important in the textile industry, textiles being the process of turning local raw material into light, higher quality fabric. Italy was responsible for distributing these textiles across Europe and Asia. The Italian monks smuggled silkworm eggs out of Asia and spread silk trade all over Europe, allowing the textile industry to grow. The trade made the Italian bankers very rich, even though they had little to do with it. Italians were involved in a big part of the spread of textiles and better fabric across europe in the 5th century.
First, textiles were usually made from materials such as cotton, flax, wool, and silk. The thing that most people wanted, however, was the silk material. Italy did not have silkworms so they couldn’t make silk. Legends say that 2 Italian monks brought silkworm eggs inside a bamboo pole back to Justinian 1 at Byzantium. Italy soon became the center of the silk trade, and everyone wanted Italian silk. This change in Italy greatly affected the trade on the Silk Road, a famous trade route in which different empires obtained the highly coveted silk textiles.
Second, the Silk Road allowed for many different regional items to be dispersed between Europe and Asia.  The silk road was originally made during the Han Dynasty, and the traders kept expanding the routes for centuries. The main premise of the silk road was to connect East and West. Many goods that the east provided to the west were porcelain, medicine, spices, dyes paper, and gunpowder. The longest route ran about 1775 miles long. The Silk Road allowed the monks to steal the chinese silkworm eggs and made the Byzantine empire rich. The Silk Road played a key role in the textile trade.
In conclusion, Italy revolutionized the way textiles were made and distributed throughout Europe and Asia. The trade allowed many goods to be transported from the east to the west and monopolized Byzantium. The trade routes allowed Italy to receive goods like precious metals and spices. The industry started the Renaissance because wealthy people were investing in artists. Almost every commonwealth across Asia was affected by the textile trades coming from Italy. Trades, routes, and wealth came from the trade and were very important id the late Middle Ages.

The Hundred Years’ War
Tori Bronson, Ashlyn Birch, Cambry Holloway and Natalyn
The Hundred Years’ War was a war that lasted for 116 years. England and France were fighting for the French throne. It lasted from 1337- 1453. It started when charles the lV who died without having a son to take the throne. Edward the 3 of England believed that he should have the right to become the new king of France because of his mother. The french did not want to have a foreign king.  
The two kingdoms fought for over a century. Neither any kingdoms won. The two kingdoms became two separate nations. It was the last great medieval war.
Joan of Arc was a peasant girl living in medieval France, she  believed that God had chosen her to lead France to victory in its long running war with England. She had no military training, but Joan convinced the prince, Charles of Valois, to let her lead a French army to the besieged city of Orléans, where it had an amazing  victory over the English and their French allies, the Burgundians. After seeing the prince crowned King Charles the 7th, Joan was tried for witchcraft and heresy and burned at the stake in 1431, at the age of 19. By the time she was officially canonized in 1920, the Maid of Orléans and had long been considered one of history’s greatest saints, and a symbol of French unity and nationalism.
The war changed the common language and influenced the fall of feudalism. French was considered the correct language. When the war started French was considered the language of the enemy. Shortly after, English became the socially accepted language. During the war weaponry advanced, and weapons using gunpowder were used. This caused heavy cavalry to no longer be needed. The nobles that controlled the knights had less privilege than before. This led to the fall of feudalism.  

The Avignon Split
-Sarah, Brinley Taylor,  Mara, Allison 
In the middle ages there was plenty of war and kaos between the church and kings and rulers. During the time of this kaos, the main pope who was italian was disliked by the french king. He disliked this pope so  much that he said a new pope was needed. The result of this kaos was The Avignon Split.
This event was very traumatic because it changed and affected the church and the way people did things back in the middle ages. It started in the year of 1378, with the king wanting a new pope. He felt the pope then was not fit enough to rule as the pope, There were 7 men that were probably bishops that all wanted to become the new pope. They spent many years together but later were annoyed with each other so they all started to kill and torture one another. Until it was down to 3 popes the 3rd was later on, but still there. These popes couldn’t agree so they split into 3 different religions but were all still churches. This went on till 1417.
This is a very important to us today and effects our society because we have different religions and we also have the freedom and choice of any religion. There are many religions today such as Christianity, Muslim, as well as Catholic. Even if these popes were around the middle ages and not known very well, the choices they made have affected America today. The 4 reasons why this topic is so big is: 1- this, of course, affects the religion “policy” meaning you can only be a part of one religion. 2- to get to this era of time, people had to die so it could be cut down to 3 “religions” or popes. 3- this actually greatly weakened the church for a while because wars were going on causing kaos. 4- this made the french colonies a little stronger after all it was settled and things were conducted a little bit better.
In the end, it was a little different and the in between was kaotic, but all was sorted out, (even if it meant some people were killed and tortured) it now affects us majorly today, and after a good 68 years of kaos and war, peace has to come sooner or later. 

The Hundred Years War
Matt, Wyatt, Caleb, Sam, Cody 
The Hundred Years War actually lasted for 116 years. It started in 1337 and ended in 1453. The main reason the Hundred Years War started was because King Charles the IV died and he didn’t someone to inherit the throne. Philip the VI and his followers wanted him to have the throne and English Edward the III and his followers wanted him to have the throne. There ended up being lots of battles and fighting. About 3.5 million people died. Eventually England took hold of about one third of France and they forced the French to sign the Treaty of Calais. 
The Hundred Years war has affected us today. The English and the French established boundaries that we still use today. In the battle of Agincourt Peasants began to use longbows and they could defeat the knights. Eventually this lead to them coming up with new governments which are still in part being used today.        

The Black Plague
Ammon, Mark, Joshua, Cecilia, McKenna
The Plague was caused by a bacteria called the Yersinia Pestis. This is usually spread by bugs they get the disease and it stays on them until they give the virus to another creature. They picked it up when they would bite the infected animals like sheep, rats, and cattle. Then if you were ever by an infected animal you would have gotten the sickness or if there was a sick person you can get it directly. Now we have a cure to the Black Plague it is now only found in The Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, India, and Peru. Some of the symptoms of The Black Plague start 1-6 days after they receive it. You will feel very sick and weak you may have a fever, chills, and headaches. The Black Plague killed (50 million +) people in the 14th century this was about 60% of the population at this time. The people around Europe blamed  the cause of this on the Jews throughout the land. The people in the Jewish towns were attacked and pillaged by the mobs they burnt their homes or burnt them at the stake in Masse. In England the Black Death made the depopulation and disappearance of about 1,000 villages.
The Black Plague started in Eastern Asia and spread along the silk road by rats.  Fleas would get the the plague from the rats and then the fleas would get on to humans.  From the silk road people spread it around more and more people got infected.  The plague spread very quickly.  In most places it spread by about a mile a day, but in some places it spread as much as eight miles a day.  When the plague came back in the 20th century, it only spread at eight miles a year.  The plague was still in Europe but it wasn’t nearly as devastating as it was in the 1300’s.  The Black Plague was the most devastating plague that we know of in all of Europe.




Printed files


Media files

Click here for a copy of the PDF file we used at the start of this unit.

Click here to see a copy of the Middle Ages Timeline PowerPoint.

Click here to view the timeline we used in class.

The Plague
One, Two, Three, Four

100 Years War
One, Two, Three, Joan of Arc

Italian Textile Industry
One, Two, Three

Italian Textile Industry
One, Two, Three

Avignon Schism
One, Two, Three, Four

Invention of the Printing Press
One, Two, Three


Sound files