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What made European culture distinctive during the Middle Ages was the rise of the Christian church, centered in Rome. In western Europe, the Church became the center of culture, learning, and, to some extent, political and economic power during the Middle Ages. Other cultural and political practices, including feudalism and manorial agriculture, and the rise of kingdom-states, were also characteristics of the Middle Ages in Europe, but it was the rise of Christianity, dominated by the ecclesiastical structure of the Church, that was its most distinctive feature. It permeated the daily lives of European peoples, lay at the center of many of the political disputes of the period, and dominated the worldview of educated Europeans.
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