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Ch 34: HiSET: The High Middle Ages

About This Chapter

This chapter explains the High Middle Ages history topics you could run into while taking the HiSET Social Studies test. Quick video lessons make studying accessible and simple, and transcripts make it easy to locate and study key terms.

HiSET: The High Middle Ages - Chapter Summary

History is a large part of the HiSET Social Studies exam, and the fun, engaging videos in this chapter explain the High Middle Ages topics you need to know. Lessons cover:

  • Inquisitions and heresies
  • Ancient ideas and impact on the church
  • The Magna Carta and the displacement of monarchies
  • Gothic art, architecture and culture
  • Thomas Aquinas and the church
  • The invention of the mechanical clock

A short quiz follows each lesson so you can practice using the information you've covered. If you need additional support while you work through the chapter, don't hesitate to reach out to our instructors.

Objectives of the HiSET: The High Middle Ages Chapter

The HiSET Social Studies test runs seventy minutes and contains fifty questions. The exam covers four content domains: history, which accounts for 38% of your score; civics and government, which accounts for another 38%; economics, which accounts for 18%; and geography, which accounts for 6%. This chapter covers the High Middle Ages topics you might encounter under the history category.

HiSET questions are presented in a multiple-choice format. Our lesson quizzes mimic this style so you can gain confidence by answering HiSET-style questions in advance of your test date.

17 Lessons in Chapter 34: HiSET: The High Middle Ages
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Heresies and Inquisitions in the High Middle Ages

1. Heresies and Inquisitions in the High Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages the term heresy referred to religious beliefs that were in disagreement with an established Christian doctrine. This lesson explores the often violent results of the growing popularity of heretical beliefs in the High Middle Ages.

Mendicants: St. Francis and Church Reforms

2. Mendicants: St. Francis and Church Reforms

Catholicism spread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. In response to growing power and separation from urban middle-class citizens, mendicants lived in poverty and reached out to the poor. This lesson explores the orders formed by the mendicants.

The Spread of Ancient Knowledge and Its Impact on the Church

3. The Spread of Ancient Knowledge and Its Impact on the Church

Classical knowledge comes from ancient cultures like the Greeks and Romans. When Christians fought in the Crusades, they discovered some of these texts. This lesson explores the impact of classical learning on the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages.

The Rise of Universities and Displacement of Monasteries

4. The Rise of Universities and Displacement of Monasteries

Before the Middle Ages, education was the responsibility of the Church. As the need for education spread to those who were not clergy, monasteries could no longer meet the needs of education. This lesson explores the decline of monastic education and the rise of the university.

The Magna Carta & The Constitutions of Clarendon: Definition & Significance

5. The Magna Carta & The Constitutions of Clarendon: Definition & Significance

In the High Middle Ages, rulers fought for supreme power. This lesson explores two of the earliest documents to limit power of an authority figure, whether it was the pope or a king.

Charter of the Forest and the Provisions of Oxford: Definition & Significance

6. Charter of the Forest and the Provisions of Oxford: Definition & Significance

In the High Middle Ages several charters were created that limited the authority of ruling powers. This lesson explores two of these charters, both of which limited the authority of the king of England.

Gothic Architecture: Style, Characteristics & History

7. Gothic Architecture: Style, Characteristics & History

This lesson covers the three main features of Gothic architecture: the pointed arch, the rib vault and the flying buttress. We then look at a slideshow of examples of the Gothic style around Europe.

Gothic Sculpture and Stained Glass Windows: Characteristics & Style

8. Gothic Sculpture and Stained Glass Windows: Characteristics & Style

In this lesson, we cover the development of Gothic architectural decoration, specifically decorative sculpture and stained glass windows. You'll learn about Gothic use of stained glass and the evolution of sculpture from Romanesque decoration to Gothic statues.

Gothic Painting: Style & Characteristics

9. Gothic Painting: Style & Characteristics

This lesson follows the development of two trends in Gothic painting: realism and perspective. We explore the origins of these movements in Italian Gothic masters, like Duccio, Giotto and the Lorenzetti Brothers, and their later expression in Northern European illuminations.

Thomas Aquinas' Influence on the Catholic Church

10. Thomas Aquinas' Influence on the Catholic Church

St. Thomas Aquinas was perhaps the most important figure of the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages. This lesson examines what he did to help protect the Church against a rebirth of critical thinking by using critical thinking to defend the Church.

Frederick II: King and Emperor

11. Frederick II: King and Emperor

Frederick II was responsible for gaining control of many lands in Germany and Italy under the Holy Roman Empire. This lesson explores the background of the story and Frederick's accomplishments.

The Invention and Impact of Mechanical Clocks

12. The Invention and Impact of Mechanical Clocks

Timekeeping has been a part of society since Ancient Egypt. This lesson briefly explores the history of clocks and the impact of the mechanical clock on medieval society.

Mongolians and Their Contributions to Western Civilization

13. Mongolians and Their Contributions to Western Civilization

This lesson covers the contributions of the Mongols to Western civilization. We begin by examining the tale of Marco Polo. Next, we look at some common misconceptions about the Mongols. Finally, we enumerate the many technologies brought to Europe by this group.

Guilds in Western Culture and Economies in the High Middle Ages

14. Guilds in Western Culture and Economies in the High Middle Ages

Medieval guilds provided standards for production and protected their members from oppression. This lesson explores why guilds developed in the High Middle Ages.

Middle Age Royals of England and France

15. Middle Age Royals of England and France

The life of a High Middle Ages's king was filled with conflict. This lesson explores some of the major kings of England and France and their relations with each other and their powerful nobles.

Power Struggles of the Holy Roman Empire: Popes vs. Emperors

16. Power Struggles of the Holy Roman Empire: Popes vs. Emperors

The High Middle Ages was characterized by constant struggles for power. This lesson explores fighting between the papacy, Germany, and Italy for authority over the Holy Roman Empire.

The Daily Life of English Peasants

17. The Daily Life of English Peasants

Peasants of the Middle Age faced a very harsh life. This lesson explores the typical lifestyle for an English peasant in the 11th through 13th centuries, including the daily tasks they performed.

Chapter Practice Exam
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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Other chapters within the HiSET Social Studies: Prep and Practice course

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