How was Europe influenced by the invasions/migrations that plagued Europe following the fall of Rome? After examining the account of the invasions that plagued Europe after the fall of Rome in...
How was Europe influenced by the invasions/migrations that plagued Europe following the fall of Rome?
After examining the account of the invasions that plagued Europe after the fall of Rome in Bentley and Ziegler's Traditions & Encounters, how was Europe influenced by these migrations?
In the time after the fall of the Roman Empire, various peoples moved around in Europe. Some scholars refer to these movements as invasions while others feel that term is too negative. These other scholars refer to these movements as migrations. Whichever term we use for them, Bentley and Ziegler say (on p. 301 of the Brief Second Edition) that these movements “left western Europe in a shambles.” This led to the creation of the feudal system.
After the fall of Rome, various Germanic kingdoms were established that tried to maintain power as successor states to Rome. The problem was that these kingdoms lacked the resources and the organization to resist the invaders/migrants. Because they could not resist effectively, their kingdoms were destroyed. This left something of a power vacuum in western Europe.
With this vacuum, local aristocrats and strongmen became more important. They could not dominate large areas, but they could at least hope to maintain order in their own locales. This system of local lords eventually evolved to the point where local lords established bonds of loyalty with stronger, regional leaders. Over time, this turned into the system of feudalism that dominated medieval Europe.