In The Middle Ages, many big ideas are being examined:
- During the early years of the Medieval Period, small Germanic kingdoms in Europe competed for power in Western Europe and were consistently at war with each other.
- Wars were ongoing and brutal; kingdoms and empires were vulnerable to invaders out for conquest, hoping to expand their own territories.
- Religious wars between the Muslims and the Christians went on for over two hundred years, in defense of the "one true God."
- Christianity and Islam spread over Europe and the Middle East.
- Feudalism was the primary economic system in Europe and Japan
- The Christian Church extended its power and influence, and, under the leadership of the Pope, became the dominant authority in Europe.
- As warfare diminished, trade increased and towns grew. Expansion of commerce and the growth of towns brought about a flowering of medieval civilizations.
- Rulers in England and France established the foundations for strong central governments.
- Chinese civilization flourished and was the source of many technological and scientific advances that found their way to the west.
- Cultures developed in Africa and North, Central, and South America, each in its own distinctly different way.
- The "facts" of the Middle Ages, although recorded in historical documents, are based on historian's best interpretations of the data that has been gathered. What we know about these times is based upon our own interpretations of these interpretations! You must be prepared to make your own informed judgment about all of these data.