Age of Faith, Age of Feudalism and the Dark Ages

World History

April 5, 2004

The tittles; Age of Faith, Age of Feudalism and the Dark Ages all well represent the Middle Ages, but Age of Faith is the greater among equals. This is because religious faith increases a lot during the whole middle ages, yet the other three titles happened at different times, and were not as permanent as religion was. During the Middle Ages religion was very important, and church officials were almost as powerful as politicians. The Age of Feudalism was some of Europe’s government for hundreds of years. During the period that’s known as the Age of Darkness, there was a great decline in learning and many Viking raids.

During the Middle Ages, the Churches power greatly increased. Religion was almost as powerful as politics, so the title "Age of Faith" is the best suiting title. Although the life of a monk or nun was extremely strict (Doc 8), many choose that to be one because of their devotion to the church. Popes even had the power to start wars. In 1095, Pope Urban II called for the crusade the recapture Jerusalem (Doc 9). The Pope was so powerful that he could call for a war easier than most politicians could, and people didn ’t seem to mind even though it was thousands of miles away. Another example of how powerful the church was, are the Cathedrals that were erected. Cathedrals took years and years to build, and they were structural masterpieces (Doc 10), especially Gothic Cathedrals. These are some of their most beautiful architecture, and it is built for the Christian religion, and dedicated to their gods.

The Feudal system was much of Europe’s system of governing for a very long time. The Feudal system was based on private government more than a centralized form of government. Vassals treated their lords as their kings (Doc 2), although people lived in the same country, there were many different rulers which caused numerous civil wars. In order to receive protection from invaders and a piece of land from a lord, also known as a fief, you must pledge to do certain things for your Lord (Doc 4). You must remain loyal to your Lord, and serve in his own personal army which is made up of all his different vassals. You must also provide ransom for your lord, incase he is ever taken hostage. Vassals with big enough fiefs divided them up into equal parts so he too could become a lord. By doing this that person who is still a vassal to the lord that gave him land, is also a lord to the people that he gave land. This person now has his own personal army as well. Many different vassals did this until their land was not large enough to divide.

Although many people disagree with the title the Dark Ages, the events over that course of time proved it to be a suitable title, but sill not as good of a title as Age of Faith. During the Dark Ages, there were many Viking raids. When Vikings came to a city or town, they stole everything they could, killed many people, and left what used to be a well of city or town in ruins (Doc 1 and 3). There were not many safe places left out there, pirates were littered in the sea and bandits scattered along the trade routes. During the Dark Ages there was a major decrease in education and literacy. Some people believe that the people during the Dark Ages preserved and guarded knowledge and treasures of their time (Doc 6). During this time there was also a lot of disease and hunger. The disease is most likely from their poor sanitation habits, such as dumping garbage into the street, and rarely bathing.

Age of Faith is the best title for the Middle Ages, although Age of Feudalism and the Dark Ages are good too. The reason Age of faith is better, is because faith lasted throughout the whole Middle Ages, but the other two titles were not as long lasting.