Social Studies 5: Filling in the Gaps: From the Time of the Vikings to Columbus
Time to take a closer look at the Middle Ages. And no, you can't go to your parents for help on this one. They may be middle-aged, but they're not that old.
|5th Grade||Social Studies|
|Elementary and Middle School||5th Grade|
And, trust us, even though knights and castles seem super cool – you really weren’t missing [Suit of armour with sunglasses]
For starters, there wasn’t much chance for social advancement.
If you were born a peasant, you were most definitely going to die a peasant. [Worker collapses]
And chances were pretty good you'd be born a peasant, since most of the population in
Europe during the Middle Ages was made up of peasants.
They spent most of their time working for the Man – which in the Middle Ages was the [Worker moving barrels of apples]
royalty, including Kings, Queens, Lord and Ladies.
If the royals decided to start a war, guess who was forced to go off to fight for them? [King looking angry]
That’s right, the hard-working, used-and-abused peasants. [Guy is hit by an arrow]
Oh, and it's not like war was a rarity back then.
Oh no, the Middle Ages saw wars a-plenty.
See what we mean? [People keep getting hit by arrows]
Definitely not missing much.
Oh, and if all those wars didn’t kill you, chances are the bubonic plague probably would.
The bubonic plague, aka the “black plague” or “black death”, killed around 25 million [Dino pointing at a blackboard]
people – somewhere between 30 and 60 percent of Europe’s entire population.
Not a fun time!
Unless you happened to be in the mortuary business.
Then we guess business was always booming!
But if you had the misfortune to be born in the Middle Ages, hopefully you were born as [King at his throne]
Monarchs ruled by “divine right” – claiming that they sat on the throne because, hey,
that’s what God wanted.
That meant government and religion went hand-in-hand.
As a result, the Middle Ages were a time of religious intolerance! [Angry looking priest]
Basically, if you didn’t believe in the rulers’ religion, things generally weren’t [Guy holding a protest sign is shot with an arrow]
going to go well for you.
Have we stressed this enough?
This is a garbage time.
It's actual garbage. [Middles ages package in a bin]
In case you're still like, "but jousting looks fun…" here's another fact! [Man is hit whilst jousting]
In 1492, the two monarchs of Spain officially expelled – or kicked out of the country
– all of the Jewish people who refused to become Christians.
People in the Middle Ages were a superstitious lot.
For example, houses were left unlocked after someone died, so that their souls had a way [Ghost walking out a house]
to escape the garbage that was the Middle Ages and go to heaven.
Which was convenient for souls… [Woman crying]
….and for robbers.
The Middle Ages also gave us a lot of the superstitions we still have today.
For example, saying “bless you” when someone sneezes…
… comes from the belief that a sneeze was the start of the plague... [Guy sneezes and collapses]
…black cats were thought to be demons and the
pets of witches, so it was definitely bad luck if one crossed your path… [Guy sees a black cat and is shot by an arrow]
…and crossing your fingers also became popular around this time.
It's connection to the cross was believed to ward off evil spirits and bad luck.
And considering how much could go wrong in the terrible Middle Ages… [Guy crosses his fingers and the arrow misses]
People needed all the luck they could get.
Man…next time, we're sticking with a video about middle age.
It'd be more uplifting. [Guy in his car full of bingo prizes]