WebQuest

Can feudalism be used as an effective form of government?

Mission Report: Process

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Just in case you forgot, the reason you are going back in time is to answer one question: can the the system of government, economics, and society used by the Europeans during the Medieval Era be used by the people of this post-apocalyptic era to create a functional society?

In order to answer this question you will need to carefully research and observe the government, economic, and social structures around you.  Note your observations in your flipbook IN COMPLETE SENTENCES, using organized paragraphs or a well thought-out outline (even outlines are written in complete sentences).



Additional Notes:
  • At the bottom of this page is a series of resources to help you complete this task.  Some of these tasks are referenced specifically during one of the upcoming steps.  The others are general resources which can be used to explore a variety of topics.
  • In the Image Gallery you can find illustrations and primary source portrayals of the issues you are researching. Check it out not only for the pictures but for the notes that go with them.
  • In a given section you can write on both the top and the bottom flaps.  For most sections the depth of your research will require you to do this.



Step 1: CREATE YOUR FLIPBOOK

1) Get FOUR sheets of the colored paper provided.  Stagger and fold them as you see in the example provided.

2) Label each tab from top to bottom in the following order (Please note that Medieval Times is also the title of your flipbook and should be both large and well decorated):
  1. Medieval Times
  2. Background
  3. Feudalism
  4. Kings | Nobles
  5. Knights | Peasants
  6. War, Disease, and Religious Disagreements
  7. The Verdict
Step 2: MEDIEVAL TIMES

Objective: To create a 4 to 6 sentence summary of the Medieval Era.  This can be done in a variety of ways, using a variety of sources, but should at the least incorporate the following basic information:

1) When was the Medieval Era?
2) Where was this time period mainly centered?
3) What are some major events that happened during this time?
4) What ideas define this time period?
5) Why is the Medieval Era sometimes known as the Dark Ages?  What is the problem with describing it this way?

Check out the following resources to accomplish this task:
Step 3: BACKGROUND

Objective:  To put the Medieval Era in context.  You will need to give me information about what happened prior to this time period and what was going on in other parts of the world.  I have provided some questions below to get you started but your research should take you further still.

1) What caused the Medieval Era to begin?
2) How did Europe change without the law, order, and protection they had under the Roman Empire?
3) How did the nobles respond to the changes that occurred after the collapse of the Roman Empire?
4) How did Feudalism attempt solve these problems?
5) How did Christianity act as a unifying force for people during this time?

Check out the following resources to accomplish this task:
  • The Start of the Medieval Era (in the resources section)
  • Religion in Medieval Europe (in the resources section)
  • The Role of Christianity in the Medieval Era (in the resources section)
Step 4: FEUDALISM & MANORIALISM

Objective: To explain in detail what feudalism was all about.  You will need to explain what society was like during the Medieval Era and examine how Feudalism impacted it.  Use the questions below to guide your explanation of feudalism:

1) What political and military conflicts led to the development of feudalism? [A brief review of research you did for Step 3]
2) How does feudalism organize government and society? 
3) How is power distributed to the different groups?
4) How do the different classes interact with each other under feudalism? (i.e. How do they depend on each other?)
5) Describe the economic system of manorialism and how it was related to feudalism.

Paste one of the cut out charts of the Feudal System (provided for you...also found as the first image in the Image Gallery) in your flipbook for your reference.

Check out the following resources to accomplish this task:
  • Log in to Britannica Online and locate the article on "feudalism" (free version HERE)
  • Log in to Britannica Online and locate the article on "manorialism" (free version HERE)
  • The Dark Ages...How Dark Were They? (in the resources section)
  • Feudalism & Manorialism (in the resources section)
Steps 5 & 6: KINGS, NOBLES, KNIGHTS AND PEASANTS

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SECTION SUBDIVIDED BETWEEN TWO PORTIONS OF THE FLIPBOOK.  SEE STEP 1 FOR DETAILS.

Objective: To be able to compare how different classes lived during this time period.  You will be looking at four groups, examining how they lived, what their quality of life was, how much political power they had, and evaluating whether or not they were treated fairly by Feudalism.  As you research EACH OF THE CLASSES listed (kings, nobles, knights, and peasants), use the following questions to guide you (in other words, you will answer the following questions for each of the four classes):

Please note that nobles are sometimes referred to as barons or lords.
Please note that peasants are sometimes referred to as serfs, villeins, or vassals.

1) How does/can a person become a member of this class?
2) What kind of jobs do people of this class typically have?
3) What political power do people of this class typically have?
4) How do the people of this class typically interact with the other classes? (i.e. Do they get along?)
5) How do the people of  this class live? (type of house, clothing, food, daily activities, etc.)
6) What is the overall quality of life for people of this class?  Explain.

Check out the following resources to accomplish this task:
Step 7: WAR, DISEASE, AND RELIGIOUS DISAGREEMENT

Objective: To be able to analyze and explain the significance of the Crusades, the Hundred Years' War, the Black Death, and the Great Schism.  Each of these items is broken down further in the space below, providing some guiding questions for that topic.

The Crusades
1) When did these wars begin and end?
2) What were the two major groups involved in these conflicts?
3) Where were The Crusades mainly fought?
4) What was the territorial goal of the Crusades?
5) What were the effects of the Crusades?

The Hundred Years' War
1) Is the Hundred Years' War one conflict or a series of conflicts? Explain. When did it/they start and end?
2) Who were the main participants in the Hundred Years' War?
3) Why was the Hundred Years' War fought?
4) What finally led to the end of the Hundred Years' War? 
5) What affect did this have on Medieval Europe?

The Black Death (also known as the Black Plague and the Bubonic Plague)
1) What was the Black Death?  What caused it?
2) Where did the Black Death begin? How did it get to Europe?
3) How did people react to this plague?  Who did they blame? 
4) What did people try to do to keep from getting the disease? 
5) How did the Black Death impact Medieval Europe?

The Great Schism
1) How important was Christianity during the Medieval Era in Europe? 
2) How did Christianity impact the lives of Medieval people?
3) What two groups were involved in the Great Schism?
4) Over what issue(s) did the Great Schism occur?
5) What was the outcome of the Great Schism?  Was there any true resolution as a result of this conflict?


Check out the following resources to accomplish this task:

Step 8: THE VERDICT

Objective: After thoroughly considering the evidence, create a well organized response to the question which prompted this mission: can the the system of government, economics, and society used by the Europeans during the Medieval Era be used by the people of this post-apocalyptic era to create a functional society? Your response will be either a flyer OR a persuasive essay which supports or condemns feudalism as a working political system.

Option 1: Flyer

On the last page of your flipbook you will create a flyer which demonstrates your support or condemnation of feudalism.  You may NOT use markers but may use pencil, colored pencil, and black pen.  Your poster should include a catchphrase that announces your position (ex. "Know the truth: feudalism is futile" or "Feudalism: the way of our future"...you may not use either of these examples) and a visual representation of your reasoning.  Your flyer will be similar to a political flyer in that it is trying to persuade the viewer to agree with a desired viewpoint. THREE EXAMPLES OF PERSUASIVE FLYERS CAN BE FOUND IN THE IMAGE GALLERY FOR YOUR REFERENCE (see last three images).

Option 2: Persuasive Essay

On the last page of your flipbook you will write a persuasive essay which analyzes the positive and negative characteristics of feudalism, taking a position either for or against the use of feudalism as an acceptable form of government in our post-apocalyptic age.  You will need to explain why feudalism would or wouldn't work and provide historic examples to support your reasoning.  Your essay should be at least three paragraphs long with an introductory, body, and conclusion paragraph.  ESSAYS ARE NEVER ONE LONG PARAGRAPH.

Attachments

Knights & the Crusades

Description: This video describes how the violence of local knights became crusaders for God. The Crusades were fought to "free" the Holy Land (Jerusalem and the Middle East in general) from the Muslims. It also discusses how the Crusades led to the growth of knowledge and trade.
The Black Death

Description: This long-ish documentary by the History Channel discuss the history and impact of the Black Death (also known as the Bubonic Plague and the Black Plague) in Europe.
The Crusades: Pilgrimage or Holy War

Description: This Crash Course video asks the all too important question regarding the motivations of the Crusades. More generally, this video gives you the background to the Crusades themselves.
The Dark Ages...How Dark Were They?

Description: This video introduces you to the Medieval Era, focusing not only on Europe but on other parts of the world. It shows that this period, which is often thought of as being relatively primitive, was actually a period of tremendous cultural and intellectual achievement in other parts of the world.

File
Religion in Medieval Europe

Description: This short video discusses the important role of religion during the medieval era.
The Start of the Medieval Era

Description: This video discusses the time after Rome's sacking and shows how life changed as a result. It also discusses the origin of the term "Dark Ages" a description that is not historically accurate.
The Sacking of Rome by the Barbarians

Description: A short video covering the sacking of Rome by the Visigoths.

File
  • Feudalism & Manorialism
    Description: This PDF of a PowerPoint will take you through the political and social system known as feudalism, and the economic system known as manorialism. These systems were mutually dependent on each other.
The Reign of Charlemagne

Description: This video portrays the reign of Charlemagne, often considered to be the greatest king of the Medieval Era.

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