Windmills, Water Wheels and Labor Savers in the Dark Ages


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Which of the following is the BEST reason why was there a rapid expansion of watermill construction in 11th century Europe?

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1. How did the Black Death influence the need for mills in Europe?

2. Sam made a list of reasons he why the Romans rarely used watermills. He made a mistake. Evaluate Sam's list and indicate which one he made in error.

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

This quiz/worksheet combo tests your understanding of how economic expansion fueled by wind and water power, and fostered by environmental, political and social changes, triggered a continuous cycle of innovation and development that paved the way to the Industrial Revolution. You'll also need to know about historical uses of windmills and water wheels to excel on this assessment.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments you'll be tested on:

  • The scope of 11th century water power
  • Roman rejection of watermills
  • The effects of the spread of wind and water power
  • Agricultural developments that drove the demand for mills
  • Industries that expanded with wind and water power

Skills Practiced

  • Information recall - access your knowledge on 11th century wind and watermills and their impact throughout Northern Europe
  • Distinguishing differences - compare and contrast the Roman and Northern European use of the waterwheel
  • Knowledge application - use your understanding of medieval technology to explain its contribution to social and cultural advances

Additional Learning

To learn more, review the accompanying lesson, Windmills, Water wheels and Labor Savers in the Dark Ages. This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Describe the role of technology in Europe's medieval economy
  • Understand the different factors that drove the demand for increased production and efficiency
  • Explain how water and wind power led to the rise of skilled labor and artisans
  • Describe how wind and watermills affected population growth and settlement patterns