Sources and Medieval Times

History Cards no.1...everything on sources and a little on medieval times...

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Primary Sources

What is a source?

anything thats survived from past or tels us about past

usually more sources about recent past than about distant past

Primary Sources...

comes from the time the historian is studying

eg. letters


old coins

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Secondary Sources

Secondary Sources

a product or account made by people thats studied and interpreted primary sources

eg. textbooks


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Medieval Times

4 safety or defense people formed small communities around a central lord or master

most lived on a manor which had a church, village, surrounding farm land

manors were isolated

occasional visits from peddlers, pilgrims on their way to Crusades


soldiers from fiedoms

Feudal system: king awarded land grants to important nobles, barons, bishops

in return 4:

their contribution of soldier 4 kings army

lowest echelon of society = peasants 4 working on kings land - got protection

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Magna Carta

Nobles divided land among lesser nobility

who became their servants

servants became so powerful king had difficulty controlling them

1100 certain barons has castles + courts that rivaled the kings

there could b serious threats if they were not pleased in their dealings with the crown

1215 england barons formed alliance that forced king john to sign Magna Carta

Magna Carta: gave no rights to ordinary people

Magna Carta: limited kings powers of taxation = require trails before punishment

1st time monarch came under the control of the law

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Peasant Life

Peasants worked the land + produced goods for lord and his manor

this exchange was not without hardship for the serfs

serfs: heavily taxed + required 2 relinquish much of what they harvested

peasants did not even belong to themselves according to medieval law

lords in close association with the church assumed roles of judges in carrying out laws of manor

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Roles of Woman

woman whether they were nobles, peasants held a difficult position in society

they were largely confined 2 household tasks = cooking, baking bread, sewing etc.

some also hunted 2 food + fought battles

(learning to use weapons 2 defend their homes, castles)

some woman held their occupations like blacksmiths, merchants + apothecaries.

Others: midwives, worked on fields, were engaged in creative endeavours like:

writing, playing musical instruments, dancing, painting

some woman known as witches capable or sorcery + healing or nuns

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