The Change In The Power Of Kings Throughout The Course Of The Middle Ages

1220 words - 5 pages

The Middle Ages in Europe extended from the late 400’s to the late 1300’s A.D., which is about 900 years. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, Western Europe was in ruins.[b] Without the leadership of the Roman Empire, many small barbarian kingdoms emerged. Kings in the early Middle Ages had almost unlimited power, including controlling the military and the authority to levy taxes. The medieval civilization was created by combining three primary historical elements, which were Judeo-Christian religion and values, classical Roman civilization and barbarian culture. The Middle Ages also created enough economic stability so that people could think beyond simple survival. Many people moved ...view middle of the document...

The Magna Carta was a series of written promises between the king and his subjects so that, as the ruler of the country, the king would govern England and have authority over its people according to the customs set out by feudal law. The Magna Carta was an attempt by the barons to stop a king from abusing his power and authority, especially when it caused the citizens of the country unnecessary pain and suffering. The nature of this change occurred when the church and rebelling barons wanted the power of the kings to weaken. In response, the church and barons started drafting the Magna Carta. When the Magna Carta was signed, the Crusades were already well underway, reducing the power of kings as feudalism came to an end. The movement that was underway involved men and women from every country in Europe and touched upon almost every aspect of daily life, from the church to religious thought and from politics to economics.

The Crusades made an impact politically, economically, and socially.[c] The Crusades lasted from 1095 until 1291. They were led by the Roman Catholic Europe and the Holy Roman Empire, and were fought over a period of about 200 years by mainly Roman Catholic forces against Muslims. “If kings and great feudal chiefs would prove themselves to be good Christians, they must put on the cross: and the assumption of the badge imposed an obligation on which, if the popes were bent on keeping them to it, it would be almost, if not altogether, hopeless for them to escape. If they resisted, their sentence was excommunication; and excommunication, not removed, meant death here and hereafter.”. This quote is from a text found online ( by Cox George W. (George William), called Epochs of History- The Crusades, showing that kings would be excommunicated very easily if they didn’t act the way the popes expected them to. The classic image of a medieval king that has such tremendous wealth and power comes from the period after the beginning of the Crusades when kingdoms grew large and the stability of kingdoms was fairly stable. From 400-1000 A.D., society was in significant confusion so kingdoms and kings rose and fell quickly. This happened because there were constant invasions that the king might not be ready or powerful enough to defend. The primary goal of a medieval king of this time frame was to survive, to defend his small kingdom from neighboring enemies, or to subdue and take over neighboring kingdoms so his kingdom would grow larger. The Crusades had just...

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