The early part of this time is called the Dark Ages
superstition is a very strong force
bubonic plague kills about half of those in western europe
ends when renaissance begins
You were born into a class of people and generally stayed in that class for your entire life. Working hard did not change your status.
Marriages were never based on love. They were arranged by the parents and often involved land issues and strategic bonds A man was the head of the household and the wife was his property — to be treated in any way he wanted.
Men were allowed to divorce their wives, but women were not allowed to divorce their husbands.
There's that (the Early Middle Ages part)... And then:
The Middle Ages was a time of low cultural output, because it was after the fall of the Roman Empire. Also- the government was decentralized (actually, there really wasn't much of it at all...) There weren't many cities either, so there wasn't much trade. ;)
I would use the term "Dark Ages" in any of your searches- you tend to get stuff