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Ch 28: MTEL Middle School Humanities: The Middle Ages

About This Chapter

Use this chapter to review the basic history of the Middle Ages, including aspects of religion, politics, art, and culture. A thorough understanding of these lessons will aid you in your preparations for the MTEL Middle School Humanities exam.

MTEL Middle School Humanities: The Middle Ages - Chapter Summary

In this chapter, you will learn about life in the Middle Ages for government leaders, peasants, and religious leaders, through reviewing stories of significant happenings throughout this era. As you study for the MTEL Middle School Humanities exam, these lessons can serve as an invaluable resource. These lessons will address the following aspects of the Middle Ages:

  • Charlemagne's reign and the Holy Roman Empire
  • Feudalism's impact on the society of Europe
  • Pope Urban II and the success of the First Crusade
  • Failures of the crusades
  • Peasant revolts of 14th century Europe
  • Impact of the Magna Carta and The Constitutions of Clarendon on limiting power
  • Decline of education in monasteries and subsequent rise of universities
  • Characteristics of Gothic sculptures, architecture, and painting
  • Decline of feudalism, the church's power, and the rise of nation-states
  • The Ottoman Empire
  • Spain's shift from Islam to Christianity
  • Trade economies

You will be guided through these lessons by an expert instructor and also have the capability to reach out to our specialists for assistance should you have any questions during your studies. After you view each brief video lesson, take the related self-assessment to determine how well you absorbed the information you reviewed.

MTEL Middle School Humanities: The Middle Ages - Chapter Objectives

Prior to attaining your license to teach a middle school humanities course in Massachusetts, you must first pass the MTEL Middle School Humanities exam. Twenty-five percent of this exam will test your knowledge of historical facts, including major world developments from 500-1500 A.D. The content of this chapter focuses on developments, events, and people in the Middle Ages, providing a resource to help you broaden your knowledge of this time period in preparation for the world history questions on the exam.

Not only does the lesson equip you with pertinent information, the lesson quizzes also give you opportunities to practice answering questions in the same multiple-choice format as the MTEL Middle School Humanities exam.

14 Lessons in Chapter 28: MTEL Middle School Humanities: The Middle Ages
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Feudalism: Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire

1. Feudalism: Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire

This lesson explains the rule of Charlemagne and his control over the Holy Roman Empire. It highlights his many military conquests and his divine rights as king, while also focusing on the role feudalism played before, during, and after his reign.

Order From Chaos: Establishing Stability through Feudal Ties and Manors

2. Order From Chaos: Establishing Stability through Feudal Ties and Manors

This lesson will explore the impact of feudalism on European society. While explaining the system of feudalism, it will highlight how it offered protection and stability to Europe, specifically after the 5th century fall of Rome.

The First Crusade: Causes and Effects

3. The First Crusade: Causes and Effects

This lesson covers the motivations of Pope Urban II in calling for the crusade at Clermont and at the religious and secular motivations of European laymen. We will also look at the startling success of the first crusade.

The Great Crusades: History and Timeline

4. The Great Crusades: History and Timeline

This lesson examines the utter failure of the later crusades. We look at some of the factors that led to this failure. We then have a glimpse at each of the major crusades abroad, as well as the political and heretical crusades in Europe.

Fourteenth-Century Peasant Revolts Across Europe

5. Fourteenth-Century Peasant Revolts Across Europe

Fourteenth-century Europe saw several peasant revolts. This lesson looks at the economic and political conditions that led to these uprisings and names two of the most well-known.

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

6. 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.

The Rise of Universities and Displacement of Monasteries

7. 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.

Gothic Architecture: Style, Characteristics & History

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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.

The Formation of Modern Nation States

11. The Formation of Modern Nation States

This lesson explains the formation of the modern nation-states. It will highlight how the decline of feudalism, as well as the decline in church power, helped bring about the modern nation-state. It will also feature several monarchs who ruled during these times.

The Ottoman Empire

12. The Ottoman Empire

This lesson will be a brief survey of the Ottoman Empire. It will highlight the ghazis, Osman, and Suleiman. It will also highlight the decline of the empire due to its involvement with Russia and the other powers of Europe.

Decline of Muslim Rule in the Iberian Peninsula

13. Decline of Muslim Rule in the Iberian Peninsula

Spain used to be one of the richest and most intellectually progressive places in the Islamic world. This lesson explains how Spain went from being a thoroughly Islamic region to being completely re-conquered by Christians.

Trade Networks in the Middle Ages: Empires & Routes

14. Trade Networks in the Middle Ages: Empires & Routes

In this lesson, we explore several of the more important trade networks during the Middle Ages, from the Silk Road across Central Asia to the gold trade across the Sahara.

Chapter Practice Exam
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