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Class 11 History Notes Chapter 6 The Three Orders

  • Western European society was divided into three orders between the ninth and the sixteenth centuries.
  • The three orders of the western society include:
    • The Clergy
    • The Nobility and
    • The Peasantry.
  • Clergy enjoyed special status. They were exempted from paying taxes.
  • The nobility also enjoyed a respectable position in the society. People belonging to the nobility were appointed on higher posts in administration, army and the church. They were also exempted from paying certain taxes.
  • The peasantry had to pay heavy taxes and had to work very hard to meet their both ends.
  • The most important characteristics of the middle age Western European society was the emergence of feudalism.
  • Two sections of the third order were:
    • Free Peasants
    • Serfs.
  • Free peasants had to deposit a fixed land revenue to the lords.
  • Most of the Western European society belonged to the serfs. A lot of restrictions were imposed on them while the peasants were free from such restrictions.
  • Serfs were denied to offer prayers in the church. They were ill-treated and forced to work nearly 12 to 16 hours a day.• Feudalism is a German word. It stands for land or an estate. It was regarded as the main the pillar of the Medieval European society.
  • Under feudalism, lords were granted their land in exchange for military services and personal loyalty.
  • Feudalism originated in France. Later on it spread over to many other countries of Europe like England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, etc.
  • The church played a major role in influencing the Medieval European society.
  • Pope was the supreme authority in the church’s institution.
  • Some of the famous towns that came into prominence were Venice, Florence, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Milan, Amsterdam, etc.
  • The word ‘monastery’ is derived from the Greek word ‘monos’ that means someone who lives alone.
  • The drawbacks of the barter system were solved by the use of money.
  • St. Benedict Monastery was established in 529 CE in Italy. St. Benedict laid the foundation of this monastery.
  • Decline of feudalism in the 16 century paved the way for the rise of nation-state in Europe. French, German and Russian Revolutions occurred in 1789, 1848 and 1917 CE respectively. These revolutions inspired the people of the world also and gave a new way to the world.

Important terms:

  • Tithe: A kind of tax collected by the church from the peasants in France. It was l/10th of the total produce.
  • Manor: Dwelling area of the landlord.
  • Fief: The land given by the lord to the knight.
  • Pope: The supreme authority of the church
  •  Friars: A group of monks who moved from place to place, preaching to the people and living on charity.
Timeline: Early History of France
481 Clovis becomes king of the Franks.
486 Clovis and the Franks begin the conquest of northern Gaul.
496 Clovis and the Franks convert to Christianity.
714 Charles Martel becomes Mayor of the palace.
751 Martel’s son Pepin deposes the Frankish ruler, becomes king and establishes a dynasty. Wars of conquest double the size of his kingdom.
768 Pepin succeeded by his son Charlemagne Charles the Great.
800 Pope Leo III crowns Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor.
840 on wards Raids by Vikings from Norway.
Eleventh to Fourteenth Centuries
1066 Normans defeat Anglo-Saxons and conquer England
1100 on wards Cathedrals being built in France
1315-17 Great famine in Europe
1347-50 Black Death
1338-1461 Hundred Years War between England and France
1381 Peasants’ revolts
The New Monarchies
1461-1559 New monarchs in France
1474-1556 New monarchs in Spain
1485-1547 New monarchs in England

Class 11 History Notes Chapter 6 The Three Orders 1

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