February 3, 2014
Charlemagne to Dante, Hung Wu to Wan Li
Question 1- Charlemagne came to power during an interesting time in history. Rome, previously one of the greatest civilizations, had fallen, and the surrounding areas were occupied by the Germanic tribes the Franks and the Lombards. Politically, an aristocracy developed, where the most power and influence went to those that actually owned land. The remaining Germanic tribes were mostly Democratic-Republican. What all of these shows, is that the regions previously under a strong Roman rule were now fractured and in a state of change, lacking a unifying ruler, a role which Charlemagne was later given the opportunity to fill.
Question 1 and 3- Economically, the Western world was capitalist. Around 770 and the years after, a system of manors with 5,000 acres of land began to develop, which was a prelude to the feudal system, as it focused on serfs as the workers with their lords giving them lodging and meals.
With this becoming the standard for work and structure in Western society, it shows how Europe developed after the Roman Empire, evolving from scattered tribes that had their own way of living to a more organized and integrated way of life. These norms during Charlemagne's life conveyed a sense of growing culture and politics, as it demonstrates how changing powers in history change the course that a specific society takes.
Question 2- Culturally, Charlemagne grew up in a place and situation that required him to move forward from the laws of Rome and pave a path for future rulers and civilizations. Because he was to become the Holy Roman Emperor, he had to accept the fact that it would violate the Roman law of one emperor. Once he accepted the position, he began conquering...