Talk:World History Lecture Five

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Most of shariah is based on the Hadith, not the Quran.


Who were the British people at that time? The “Anglo-Saxons”, who were Germanic tribes that conquered England and ruled it in a chaotic manner until the Norman conquest of A.D. 1066 brought order and prosperity to the entire island. The “Anglo-Saxons” were actually a mixture of three different Germanic peoples: the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes. The “Picts” were another group of people who settled Scotland at this time. The greatest Anglo-Saxon ruler was Alfred the Great, who defended Britain from Viking attacks in the A.D. 800s.

1. No mention of the Celtic British people who were gradually overwhelmed and absorbed by the Anglo-Saxons in what became England (but remained dominant in Wales, Cumbria, Cornwall)? 2. The Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were increasingly sophisticated, and the united England was scarcely 'chaotic'. 3. The Normans did not rule 'the whole island'. 4. The Picts did not 'settle Scotland at this time' but were the indigenous people of northern and eastern Scotland.

Pachyderm 11:15, 31 August 2007 (EDT)


  • "Both the beginning and end of the Middle Ages occurred in what is now Italy" I think the exact meaning of this sentence needs to be clarified.
  • I think you have chosen a somewhat extreme interpretation of why the term 'middle ages' is used. I do not think it was intended as a derogatory term by most.
  • I'm quite certain the claim that "Except for the Carolingian court of Charlemagne discussed below, there was no kingdom in Europe from the fall of Rome to A.D. 1000." is incorrect. Whilst the Carolingian empire was certainly one of the most notable there were certainly others.
  • The phrase "but they were constantly cooperating or arguing with each other" seems ambiguous.
  • Simply as a suggestion of my own, I think it would be much easier to simply state how much older Christianity roughly is than Islam rather than using a percentage.
  • The date of the battle of Yarmouk (636 AD) should be specified.
  • "causing concern by the Sunnis" should read "causing concern amongst..."
  • You suggest that Sunnis are viewed more favourably by the west, although I would rather not dwell on generalisations, it should be noted that Bin Laden's group is entirely Sunni, though of course very much a minority group amongst them.
  • I'm not sure what is meant by saying that Shi'ites "slashing their forwards"
  • The part concerning the 2006 election and Keith Ellison needs updating.
  • You mention that "western Europe was declining" at one point without clarifying in what respect there was a decline.
  • The most recent data suggests that Russia now has the 9th largest population rather than the 8th.
  • I would disagree with the characterisation of the Saxon rule of Britain as being chaotic, I think it was much more stable than many others.
  • The Picts did not really settle in Scotland, they were a distinctive group that emerged from the existing population and dominated for a time.
  • Saxon's generally cremated their dead, as the term pyre itself implies, and did not simply leave the bodies for animals as you suggest.
  • You incorrectly state that the peasants in the Feudal System were not bound to their Lord. In fact they had to swear an oath to the Lord and were bound to them, or perhaps more specifically, to the land. The Feudal System was a massive system of oaths and mutual ties which form are what held it together.
  • It would be more correct to refer to the 'invention' of the iron plough rather than its 'discovery'
  • You state that the serfs paid rent in the form of food. This was not universally true temporally or geographically. Generally early on the serf's rent was paid as labour on the lord's own land as opposed to that which was given over to peasant subsistence farming. This developed into a system of paying rent in the form of commodities, such as food, and eventually money.
  • You are incorrect in stating that everyone under the Feudal System had the ability to buy/sell land.
  • There was in fact a form of centralized government but it was nowhere near as powerful as it became in the centuries that followed.
  • You should clarify your definition of 'useless lands and forests'. I assume you mean this from a purely economic perspective in the context of the time.
  • The sentence "On the humorous side, it became popular to use battering rams and catapults in warfare" is puzzling in my opinion.
  • You suggest there were frequent battles between rival manors. For one thing, a manor was generally the fief of a single knight and as such battles on this scale were unlikely. Although there were civil wars of course, you unfairly characterise this as an inherently unstable system.
  • I think you need to clarify for where the 'invasions stopped'
  • I disagree with you statement about modern property law being based on the feudal system. This system did not recognise the concept of 'private property' and in many ways was almost the complete opposite of today. The private property system was developed by monarchs, particularly following the plague which decimated the population, thus reducing the rent they received. This, along with more expensive military technologies led to the need to increase income, which they did by creating laws regarding personal property and collecting taxes on the back of this. As such, private property was in fact one of the things that led to the collapse of the feudal system.

RobertWDP 08:25, 25 February 2009 (EST)

Thanks for your suggestions. I reviewed them carefully, accepting some and changing the text, while rejecting others.--Andy Schlafly 11:09, 26 February 2009 (EST)

"The Sunnis are Arab and have ruled countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, while the Shiites have majorities in Iraq and Iran." I'm not sure if you meant to imply the Sunnis rule Iraq even though the Shiites are the majority, or if it was simply a mistake, but it reads as though you are talking about the nations each branch rule. Just thought Id mention it--Manhattan

Corrections relevant to your updates

  • You seem to imply that Turkey is run by a military junta of some kind. This is not true. Turkey is a parliamentary democracy. Although the military does hold significant influence you are wrong to say that it 'runs' the country. As such the military does not enforce the headscarf ban. The headscarf ban was implemented as part of the secular principles of modern Turkey's founder and has been upheld by the judiciary. RobertWDP 21:32, 25 February 2009 (EST)
The military enforces the rule, which is contrary to the wishes of the overwhelming major. Most informed observers would describe Turkey as run by the military rather than by popular opinion.--Andy Schlafly 22:22, 25 February 2009 (EST)

Corrections relevant to further updates

  • I cannot really see a direct link between feudalism and 'the customer is always right.' For one thing, the concept of a customer was not in widespread use, especially early on in the feudal era, given that there was relatively little trading and what there was originally rarely involved money. IT was not until later on that the practice of trading goods increased significantly, and especially with the increased use of money led to the creation of the market as we know it today.
  • You put far too great an emphasis on the good aspects of feudalism from modern perspective. You do not mention that the system was extremely exploitative of the serf class. They were bound to work the land all their life and to serve their lord, and were entirely under his control. Indeed there may have been fewer people who didn't work but when they were in fact 'fired' as it were the consequences were far more devastating than today. This would have involved an entire family being ejected from their home and the land they worked since this was all part of the equation. RobertWDP 10:31, 26 February 2009 (EST)
Feudalism developed the concept of "service", which became central to chivalry. From that came "customer service," as in restaurants.
On your second point, I'm afraid it suffers from anti-Christian bias that infects commonly read materials. Feudalism had no commuting, no "lay offs," no "offshoring", fewer heinous crimes like today, no widespread breakups of marriage, no same-sex marriage, no drug addiction, etc. It was far from perfect, but far from terrible also. What liberals hate about it was its Christianity.--Andy Schlafly 12:21, 26 February 2009 (EST)
The concept of "customer service" has been in existence for as long as commerce itself has, which was long before feudalism. As for the benefits of feudalism, "no commuting" and "no layoffs" also applied to slavery, so it would be fair to say that these are just aspects of feudalism rather than inherent benefits of the system that would make it desirable. I'm not sure that feudalism itself lowered crime or drug addiction relative to other societies in the same historic period, but I'm not aware of any aspect of feudalism itself that impacted marital fidelity or societal views towards homosexuality when compared to the prevailing religious views of the day. --DinsdaleP 12:30, 26 February 2009 (EST)
Certainly commerce existed prior to the feudal system but it was not a characteristic of that system above others and so the concept of customer service cannot really be attributed to it. I don't think religion really came into my point. The feudal system was extremely exploitative of the serfs and any mention of perceived benefits must weighed against this extreme lack of rights and freedoms. The church was much more powerful back then with a much stricter interpretation than prevails generally today which explains a lot of the social factors of the time. Marriages didn't break up mainly because it was virtually impossible for the common person to be able to get out of a marriage, and marriage was needed to produce legitimate heirs, so that even the serfs could pass on their plots to their children. Many modern drugs were not even known about in European feudal society let alone available to them so that much can explain that not so much the actual system in place. To say that the lack of commuting as an advantage outweighs a social status only just above that of a slave is to take it too far i think. RobertWDP 12:43, 26 February 2009 (EST)
On the subject of service, perhaps an earlier precursor would be Jesus acting as a servant, perhaps best shown in John 13, when He washed His disciples' feet.--CPalmer 12:47, 26 February 2009 (EST)
As people above have said, serfdom was pretty much equal to slavery (except slave-owners actually purchased their slaves, so they had an interest in keeping them alive). I remember reading about how Prince Edward, son of King Henry, once ordered a travelling merchant to be blinded because he was obstructing the road. ETrundel 13:21, 26 February 2009 (EST)

Normally I like to stick to the purely factual errors, such as incorrect dates, but I'll stray into interpretations. Beyond your vast over-simplification of the medieval world (feudalism and manorialism vary greatly temporally and geographically), you are anachronistically applying modern ideas to the feudal society and vice versa. First, you attempt to make some analogy between the feudal system and a free market, which is simply not true. Not everyone had the ability to buy and sell property (I'll allow that I, too, am oversimplifying geographically and temporally); rather, land was deeded by a social superior in exchange for some form of obligation, usually military service. Generally speaking, this applies only to male nobility, and in the case of inheritance, to the first born male. Significant amounts of warfare, including the Crusades, had as some amount of roots the lack of inheritance by second sons or poor lords, who could only hope to obtain property through some martial deed.

The serfs were hardly free labor as we would know it now, they were legally or traditionally bound to the land; if ownership of land changed hands, the serfs were still bound to that set of land and therefore their new lord. Certainly the serfs received the benefits you stated (food and protection), but it was not an amicable free market relationship, but one of obligation and hierarchy based on custom, not on economics. I should also note here that this system is "manorialism" and the hierarchial system of nobles mentioned before is "feudalism." They are not the same thing, although they are similar.

As for your paragraph on "chivalry," you take pains to connect it to modern "chivalry," that is a code of etiquette (which for you primarily means interaction between the genders), yet you never really get into the meat and potatoes of what it was originally. First of all, it was not a code for "everyone." As is the general theme for this era, it was the code of nobility, specifically knights (the warfighting nobility). Peasants were certainly not subject to it. There were specific rules dealing with the customs of "sportsmanship" in war. As said, peasants were not really subject to chivalry. If captured, they were usually killed (they had no economic value attached to them). Knights were treated well and ransomed, partially out of sportsmanship and partially out of their high worth. Depending on the conditions of a city being captured, the inhabitants could be treated well or poorly. As for the "free enterprise" approach to the military, again you apply an anachronistic term. Armies were created through the feudal relationship of hierarchical obligation. (Although there were significant mercenary forces, second born noble sons, etc. that could be seen as slightly more "free market" if you really must apply the term). This developed very good warriors, I'll agree, but not necessarily superior armies (the two are not the same thing), and the invasions were stopped by a combination of forces (not to mention that they don't really stop in the Medieval Period - the Ottomans continue to threaten Vienna well into the 17th century).

Rather than the various things you mentioned, chivalry was merely the code of ethics (and the "code" was hardly written in stone) for the warrior class of nobility. It fluctuated greatly with time and space, and was based primarily in a combination of Christian ideals, traditional warrior ethos, economic ideals, and societal needs.

On a final note, you commented to Robert that liberals "hate" feudalism because of its Christianity. As a liberal, and an avid student of history, I neither "hate" nor love feudalism. I nothing it. It's simply a convenient model to simplify complex interactions in Medieval society. Christianity was the single most important facet in the social relationships of the era, but that doesn't make me hate the era. That would be very, very silly. If I were to apply any moral judgment, it would be that Christianity was a positive by creating organization and regulation were there was little. So be careful before you start throwing accusations around.

--CWaddell 16:56, 26 February 2009 (EST)

"CWaddell", the word "nothing" is not a verb and your long-winded sermon fails to persuade. Chivalry was and is an ideal for all to strive for. It is very effective in reducing and eliminating friction, insults, hard-feelings, and even accidents. Atheists do exaggerate their criticism of feudalism because they dislike its Christian culture. You may not be an atheist, but you have relied on biased works by atheists in your education. Open your mind and free yourself from the bias, and you will only wish you had done so sooner.--Andy Schlafly 18:09, 26 February 2009 (EST)
""CWaddell", the word "nothing" is not a verb" - Mr Schlafly, CWaddell was clearly engaging in a bit of verbification, a perfectly acceptable linguistic technique in the context of the discussion. Open your mind and free yourself from your overly-prescriptive language barriers, and you will only wish you had done so sooner. GregorL 13:44, 1 March 2009 (EST)

Except for the Carolingian court of Charlemagne discussed below, there was no kingdom in Europe from the fall of Rome to A.D. 1000.

Though this point was made two years ago (!), there were other kingdoms, e.g., the High Kings in Ireland or the Kingdom of Lombardy...

AugustO 16:24, 25 September 2011 (EDT)

A few suggestions.

hey, I'm not totally sure what the purpose and intended audience of this piece is, so I didn't change anything, but here are a few suggestions. Seppuku is referred to as 'suicide by self-disembowelment' as you have already said suicide, the 'self' in 'self-disembowelment' is somewhat redundant.

The Picts are said to have 'emerged' in this period. I can't remember exactly, but I was always under the impression that the Picts were the indigenous (or close enough) inhabitants of Scotland, and that it was during this period that they were conquered by the Scots (who were from Ireland). If I'm correct 'submerged' would be more correct than emerged.

Interesting take on feudalism. :) I would just like to point out though that chivalry was not a 'code for everyone' as it is called here, but a knightly code of honour (you can see this in the etymology, it's from the same root words as the french chevalier and the word 'cavalry').

To be honest it's a bit disingenuous to say that more terrorism is committed by Muslims against Jews than vice versa without mentioning the power imbalance. Jewish Israelis have less reason to become terrorists, as they have the israeli army to enforce a status quo favourable to them, whereas the Palestinians feel themselves to be oppressed by a hostile government, and, lacking other methods to achieve their political aims often resort to direct violence. When the Jews were a struggling minority in Israel as well they also committed a fair bit of terrorism (Deir Yassin for instance). A similar situation occurred in Northern Ireland, where the IRA commited far more terrorism than loyalist groups. Anyway those are a few ideas, if anyone likes them and knows a bit more than I do about what this page is for, they can change them.Cmurphynz 22:51, 20 June 2012 (EDT)

Forgot to mention this one, Ambrosius and Arthur are implied to be the same person, and although facts are almost impossible to come by about this era most sources that mention them imply that they are different people. What's there at the moment is a valid interpretation, but it is considerably less common than treating them as different figures, so someone might want to clarify the language a bit to reflect this.Cmurphynz 22:58, 20 June 2012 (EDT)