This is the assignment page for the topic "Manorialism and Economic Development in Latin Christian Europe" for J. B. Owens's sections of the lower-division undergraduate course, History 101, Foundation of Western Civilization. The sole purpose of this page and all of the pages linked to it is to provide an orientation for those students enrolled in History 101.

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Manorialism and Economic Development in Latin Christian Europe (1000-1300)

ID: manorialism, manor, domain/demesne/pars dominica, glebe, corvees, banalite, relief, curtis(pl., -es), mansus (pl., mansi), serf, Reconquista, Crusades, putting-out system, Champagne

  1. How were manors organized and why did they function as they did in the Early Middle Ages (600-1000)?
  2. What factors were important for the organization of manors in the Early Middle Ages?
  3. Why were customary practices and traditions so important to village life in the Early Middle Ages?
  4. Why was the manorial system slowly transformed after approximately 900?
  5. Why were so many European Latin-Rite Christians attracted to the Lebanon-Palestine region (the "Holy Land") in the 12th century?
  6. Why did fairs like those at Champagne become an important part of European commerce?
  7. Why did counts and bishops often feel threatened by the growth of the cities in which they lived?
  8. In what ways did the development of feudalism and medieval economic growth have an impact on the core values of the European identity defined by church leaders?
  9. Why did Latin Christian Europe experience such widespread and continuous economic expansion from the 10th through the 13th centuries?
  10. What means were used in the Central Middle Ages (1000-1300) to pool scarce capital resources for economic development?
  11. Why had correspondence and bookkeeping become so necessary for many merchants by the 13th century? Deal specifically with the concerns raised in the letter of 1260 to Giacomo di Guido Cacciaconti from his partners in Siena [discussed in Owens].
  12. Why did the urban commune emerge as a new institution in the Central Middle Ages (1000-1300)?
  13. Why did urban women enjoy more autonomy of action than their rural counterparts?


Owens, chapter 5 ("Manorialism and Economic Development in Latin Christian Europe"); Kishlansky, 156-157 ("Creating the European Peasantry" and "Rural Households"), 174-175 ("The Peasantry: Serfs and Freemen"), 180-183 (through "The Fairs of Champagne").

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Revised: 11 May 2006