Jackie Lin AP World History, Period 7Essay #2 Rewrite 11/13/18 The Middle Ages was a period of time that began at 500 CE and ended at 1500 CE. It followed directly after the collapse of the Roman Empire, which was one of the largest empires ever established before the Middle Ages. The empire fell due to a combination of internal factors, such as weak emperors, failure to maintain a large and strong army, and frequent peasant revolts, and external factors, such as Germanic invasions. Because of Germanic invasions, many feared living in cities because these Germanic tribes would raid cities to pillage. Many people, as a result, left cities and fled to the countryside. Peasants, especially, left to go to manors, which were estates run by a noble, since they did not have the money, tools, and supplies to support themselves. Nobles would then have peasants working for them in these manors by having them farm and work the land. Manors would then be self-sufficient, meaning they could produce their own food and supplies. This became known as the system of manorialism, where nobles reward peasants for the food they produce in exchange for land. This developed into feudalism where not only peasants are rewarded, but also knights who fight and defend the noble and peasants. Previously before the Middle Ages, Constantine, a Roman Emperor, legalized the practice of Christianity and even made it the official religion of the Roman Empire. By doing so, many Romans would convert and a church forms in the Roman Empire, known as the Roman Catholic Church. These people’s religious beliefs in Roman Catholicism were persist even until the Middle Ages. Overall, western Europe changed from using feudalism with powerful lords to lords losing power after urbanization and western Europe being extremely decentralized to the creation of centralized governments and nationalism, while the Roman Catholic Church’s power and influence remained the same because of people being deeply religious.