Hierarchy of Rulers

King – The top leader in the land was the king. The king could not control all of the land by himself, so he divided it up among the Barons. In return, the Barons pledged their loyalty and soldiers to the king. When a king died, his firstborn son would inherit the throne. When one family stayed in power for a long time, this was called a dynasty.

Bishop – The Bishop was the top church leader in the kingdom and managed an area called a diocese. The Catholic Church was very powerful in most parts of Medieval Europe and this made the Bishop powerful as well. Not only that, but the church received a tithe of 10 percent from all the people. This made some Bishops very rich.

Barons and Nobles– The Barons and high ranking nobles ruled large areas of land called fiefs. They reported directly to the king and were very powerful. They divided up their land among Lords who ran individual manors. Their job was to maintain an army that was at the king’s service. If they did not have an army, sometimes they would pay the king a tax instead. This tax was called shield money.

Lords and Knights – The lords ran the local manors. They also were the king’s knights and could be called into battle at any moment by their Baron. The lords owned everything on their land including the peasants, crops, and village.

Peasants or Serfs

Most of the people living in the Middle Ages were peasants. They had a hard rough life. Some peasants were considered free and could own their own businesses like carpenters, bakers, and blacksmiths. Others were more like slaves. They owned nothing and were pledged to their local lord. They worked long days, 6 days a week, and often barely had enough food to survive.


1300 4 million ♦️1 million 1320 FAMINE in England (Agricultural crisis)1348-49 🔵The Black Death reached England 1/3 died (It killed about 1/3 of the world’s population of 450m) The plague returned again and again. The  population severely reduced by perhaps 50%). 1350 (2 m). 1400  (pop 2.5 million )1400  back to 2/2.5m. 1425 War of the Roses
1440 🔵moveable printing 🔵end of war of roses
Columbus 🔵globalisation ➡️trade and people to the ➡️New World