Rights and Responsibilities under the Medieval System of Feudalism (2022)

Rights and Responsibilities under the Medieval System of Feudalism (2)
Feudalism is the most distinctive and significant factor of the early and central middle ages.

What Was Feudalism?

Before the period known as the Middle Ages, the Roman Empire controlled most of Western Europe. Under Roman rule, Europe was organized and unified region. But in 400 A.D., the Roman Empire was split in two: the western half and the eastern half. Over time, the east thrived, while the west declined. Various Germanic tribes began to move into the countries of Western Europe; they lived under their own laws and under the rule of their own chiefs or kings. Without a central government, life for the people of the West changed greatly.

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At the start of the middle ages, Europe was dividedintosmall areas ruled by local lords and each of the lordsmade their own set of laws to follow; this often led to much conflict and disorder. During this time, the most successful ruler was a Frankish king named Charlemagne, whose empire included much of western and central Europe. Charlemagne maintained order throughout his realm and kept watch on the nobles and landlords, who were in the habit of doing as they wished.

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Charlemagne sent special agents into every district to see if the nobles followed his orders. He also rewarded the nobles for their military support. In exchange for providing knights, he gave nobles grants of land. This practice laid the foundation of feudalism, a system of government in which land was exchanged for military service by knights.

The rise of feudalism in Medieval Europe greatly affected the social structure, specifically the rights and responsibilities of those who were in the noble and peasant class. This rigid social structure, in turn, considerably impacted the society in different ways, ranging from the daily life of the people to the overall economy.

Rights and Responsibilities under the Medieval System of Feudalism (5)

Feudalism is the most distinctive and significant factor of the early and central middle ages. Feudalism was the social, economic and political structure of Western Europe during this time.In the early middle ages, feudalism permeated every aspect of society and economics, determining everything from relationships between kings and lords, to how farmers grew and made use of their crops. Because Europe’s economy was agriculturally based, feudalism formed a social stratification that separated the different classes, yet, at the same time, bound them together with ties of loyalty, obligation and service.

The person of the higher social standing would offer protection and patronage. In exchange, the person on the lower level offered loyalty and promised to deliver their profits, such as crops or a portion of money earned.

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During the early Middle Ages, feudalism was most prominent among rural areas of Europe, mainly in present day France, Germany, and England. The main force behind feudalism was economics. The more urban areas, such as Italy, Spain and Southern France, never fully adopted the system. Because Europe was so rural at that time, economics became synonymous with agriculture. Feudalism was directly related to land: how it was used and who received the benefits from it.

“In a period when wars and famine were incessant, service, in exchange for protection, became the keynote of society”

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Historian Marjorie Rowling
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In the feudal system, most of the rights and privileges were given to the Upper classes. In the hierarchical structure, the kings were at the topmost position, followed by nobles, knights and vassals or peasants.

A crucial aspect of these arrangements was loyalties. A member of a given class swore loyalty to the person above him, making a solemn promise called an oath of fealty. This connection proceeded up and down the entire feudal hierarchy.

Feudalism was a complex arrangement that defined the relationships of the different levels of the social hierarchy. These relationships were based on personal ties; for instance, a lord might guarantee a peasant a place on his land because their family may have worked there for generations.

The King

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During the Middle Ages, the economy was primarily based upon by agriculture. In an agricultural society, land was equivalent to wealth: the more land you had in your possession, the richer you were. Economist Kenneth Jupp comments that during the early Middle Ages “land paid virtually all costs of government… throughout most of Europe”.So, the person who had control of the land was very important. Before feudalism, the Romans believed in private ownership of land.

Meanwhile, various Barbarian tribes typically shared it communally. Under feudalism, however, the king or the monarch owned all of the land in the country.The kings held this land by what they believed was “divine right”, the right to rule granted by God and then passed on through heredity.The king ruled the whole kingdom and was in charge of all the land, but it was physically impossible for the king to control every part of his massive kingdom by himself.

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For instance, when William I, also know as William the Conqueror, won the Battle of Hastings, he could not control all of England by himself. After William I won the battle, he was also still the Duke of Normandy, so he had to travel to France weeks at a time to stay in power. Therefore, he needed a way to remain in control of England and keep his people loyal. He first built a castle—the Tower of London—to dominate the city. There, he kept soldiers to keep the people of England in check. He still, however, needed an actual way of governing the country. This is where feudalism comes into play. William divided the country in to plots of land. These parcels of land were ‘given’ to noblemen who were willing to die in battle for William. They in turn had to swear loyalty to William.

The portions of the land awarded to nobles by the king, typically given for service in battle or in other ways, were called fiefs. Fiefs varied in size. Some were single estates just large enough to support one knight and his family. Others were very large, consisting of whole countries or provinces. The king also granted land to the less powerful military men, the knights, who were called vassals.

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The king had complete ownership and power in his kingdom, so he could do as he pleased. This meant that sometimes the land could be given to a noble who swore his loyalty to the king. Sometimes, however, it meant keeping the land in the family and passing it on to his successors, similar to how Charlemagne divided his land. From Charlemagne’s Divisio Regnorum, the king’s official proclamation of how he planned to divide the land among his three sons:

“So as not to leave my sons a confused and unsettled matter of dispute and contention as regards the status of my entire kingdom, I have divided the whole body of the realm into three portions; the portion that each of them is to guard and rule, I have caused to be described and designated. I have done this so that each may be content with his portion in accord with my ruling. And so that each may strive to defend the borders of his kingdom which face foreign peoples and maintain peace and charity with his brothers.”

The Nobles

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In terms of the feudal system social hierarchy, the nobles or barons were the second wealthiest and the most powerful after the king in the chain. The nobles were awarded or leased land, called fiefs or fiefdoms, from the king whom they swore their loyalty to. Those who received the fiefs were called the king’s vassals. The king was the vassal’s lord. The vassals served him by providing him with armies and knights for protection. The lords owed homage and fealty to the king. They were obligated to supply a certain number of knights for the king. The number of knights a vassal owed his king usually depended on the size of the fief. The holder of a great fief might owe the king the service of dozens or even hundreds of knights. This level of vassalage was called lords, nobles, tenants-in-chief, or barons.

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Within their own fiefdoms, lords were the absolute authority. They established and administered their own legal systems, gathered taxes, designed their own currency and managed how crops were grown.The rights of the fief and the titles of the land were passed down from generation to the next, usually to the male line. If a lord had no successor, the land would be given to the church as a sign of piety.The nobles were very powerful because they controlled the armies. In fact, nobles often warred amongst themselves over territories.

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The governance of a fief was quite time consuming. For a lord to do any of the framework himself was considered to be beneath his level—he was considered more of manager. His wife was also like a “manager” of the manor. She was expected to make sure the daily operations, such as managing the servants and handling the financial accounts, ran smoothly. Despite these responsibilities of the lord’s wife, women during this time had few rights and were expected to follow their husbands and fathers on all things.

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The daily life of a lord consisted of attending meetings in relation to his land. The lord was expected to exercise his judicial powers over the people of the land; they would hear reports on crops, harvests, supplies, and finances, such as taxes and rent. The lord would handle disputes among tenants. Whether a subject could marry or whom they could marry was also decided by the lord. Unlike the workers under them, lords had the leisure to revel in numerous activities. As the Medieval period progressed, the culture changed becoming more refined and elegant. Time was spent on the arts like poetry and music.

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Sometimes, even the fiefs granted by the king were too large to govern by the lords. The lords, or barons, had to further divide up their land and these were ‘given’ to trusted knights who had also fought well in battle. He was given a piece of land to govern and he had to swear an oath to the baron, similar to how the baron swore an oath to the king, collect taxes when told to do so and provide soldiers from his land when they were needed. It is argued that sworn oath is really to the king and not the baron.

The Knights

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Under the lords in the social hierarchy in the feudal system, came the knights. Knights were professional armored cavalry warriors, some of whom were vassals occupying land form the lords whose armies they served.

Since fealty and homage were key elements of feudalism, the fief was granted to a knight after a commendation ceremony that was designed to create a lasting bond between a vassal and his lord. The knight would swear allegiance to his lord—the Oath of Fealty. The Oath of Fealty was the promise of faithful service to the lord. To take an oath was a very reverential proceeding; it was an appeal to God, by which a man called down on himself divine punishment if he swore falsely.

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A knight who had been rewarded with land pledged his military services. Whenever a war erupted, the knights were required to fight to protect the Lord, land and the people. The knights and their armies were required to fight a limited period of 40 days. The lords and knights were required to provide trained soldiers to fight for the king as well as their weaponry, armor and clothing.

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At first, most knights were of humble origins, most of them not even possessing land, but by the later twelfth century knights were considered members of the nobility and followed a system of courteous knightly behavior called chivalry. The feudal structure made it possible for members of one social standing to move up to next level and this is what many aspired to do. Squires and Pages of the Middle Ages yearned to become knights. A Knight who proved valiant in battle could become wealthy. The most wealthy and powerful knights then joined the nobility.

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Not everyone could become a knight. Firstly, knights usually came from a wealthy or noble family. The boys who would train to become knights were usually the sons of knights or lords. At the early age of 7 years old, the boy is sent the house of another knight or lord and there they are bestowed the title “page”. During this time, they were taught proper manners, and religion, as well as how to read, write and speak French and Latin. Pages acquired their first skills of knighthood by imitating knights and practicing combat with each other using wooden swords and lances.

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At the age of 14, a page became a squire. The squire was an apprentice to the knight who handled the knight’s armor, served his meal, tended his horse and cleaned his weapons. Besides carrying out their duties in the lord’s household, squires learned the martial arts of being a knight. Squires also practiced wearing heavy armor to get used to the weight and using weapons. The Squire served in this role for seven years and became a Knight at the age of twenty-one.

The Knights, like the lords, also had some leisure time. A common pastime of knights was hunting with a bow and arrow. This expedition could take days and a hunting group usually consisted of many people including friends, household members, and visitors, plus a large number of servants. Tournaments were also popular outdoor pastimes. Sometimes a knight could even make a living form it. The tournaments were an essential part of feudalism as they acted as a necessary training ground for the knights.

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Of the land awarded to the knight, a portion would be kept for the knight himself and the rest would be distributed the peasants and serfs. The lands granted to knights in England were called manors and the knight would live in a Manor House on his fief. Their main role was to give protection to the king and therefore they were paid quite well. The knight could also gain money, even fame, from tournaments. Therefore, the most successful of the knights were able to increase their lands and acquire more soldiers whom they might grant land to in turn for a sworn oath of loyalty.

The Peasants

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At the bottom of the feudal system social hierarchy are the peasants and the serfs. They were the poorest and had an extremely hard and difficult lifestyle. Most of the people on a feudal manor were peasants who spent their entire lives as farmers working in the fields.The responsibility of peasants was to farm the land and provide food supplies to the whole kingdom. In return of land they were either required to serve the knight or pay rent for the land. They had no rights and they were also not allowed to marry without the permission of their Lords.

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The peasants on a manor had several fields for their own use, sometimes by being tenant farmers—an arrangement in which they leased land from their lords. They usually worked together in these fields, particularly on jobs such as plowing. The peasants divided the land in narrow strips for each family. This way, everyone got a share of the good land and the poor land. A fief typically needed dozens of peasant families to maintain it, grow crops, and raise livestock. The life of a peasant was filled with arduous, monotonous work: planting and harvesting, raising and slaughtering live stock. Considering the amount of profits a fief produced, the peasants found it hard to get by.

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Peasants had hard lives and not many privileges, but they were still not the lowest class. Below the peasants were menial workers called serfs. Although a serf had some freedoms, they were close to being slaves. Many of the peasants were serfs—that is, they were not free. Serfs belonged to the estates and in which they were born and were totally dependent upon their lords. Lords did not simply give away their serfs; if a serf was to marry a serf from another manor, the lord usually demanded payment for his loss.

The position of a serfs and peasants were made clear when Jean Froissart, a French medieval writer, wrote:

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“It is the custom in England, as with other countries, for the nobility to have great power over the common people, who are serfs. This means that they are bound by law and custom to plough the field of their masters, harvest the corn, gather it into barns, and thresh and winnow the grain; they must also mow and carry home the hay, cut and collect wood, and perform all manner of tasks of this kind.”

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The serfs worked a few days a week on the lord’s fields. They also did various chores for the lord, such as cutting firewood, fixing the castle’s walls, and cleaning the moat. The serf was also required to give payments, on top of the payments of crops the lord already receives at harvest time, at special times of the year—Christmas, Easter, ECT. Being a peasant or a serf was typically hereditary. When a serf died, his son had to make a payment to the lord of the manor.

Serfs led extremely difficult lives. They barely had access to or knew about the outside world, and they rarely met anyone from outside of their village. They couldn’couldn’ttravel or read and write.

Conclusion

Feudalism was the government, social, and political structure of Medieval Europe and it greatly affected society, ranging from how a country was run, to the rights and responsibilities of the people, all the way down to the intricacies of a family. One of the main characteristics of feudalism was its social hierarchy. At the top of the social ladder was the King who ruled all of the land in the kingdom. Since it was impossible for a king to maintain in control of all of his subjects, he gave, or awarded, pieces of his land called fiefs to noble whom he trusted. The nobles were loyal to the king, but in their fiefdom, they were in control. From there, the Nobles, also known as Lords of the Manor, could further divvy up the land to Knights who offered military protection in exchange for land. The Knight was loyal to the Lord, who was loyal to the king. They would protect the land and the lord from outside invasions, and they could also be summed into battle at anytime by their Lords. Below the knights were the peasants.

The peasants, who were in charge of farming and raising live stock, leased land from the lord or the knights. At the bottom of the social hierarchy were the serfs who were practically slaves. They did, however, have a few more rights than slaves, but they were bound to the lord and the land they served for life. These loyalties and relationships of the feudal system social hierarchy deal with the rights and responsibilities of the people of medieval Europe.

Originally published by Weebly, republished with permission for educational, non-commercial purposes.

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FAQs

What is my responsibility under the feudal system? ›

Feudal duties ran both ways, both up and down the feudal hierarchy; however, aside from distribution of land and maintenance of landless retainers, the main obligation of the feudal lord was to protect his vassals, both militarily from incursion and judicially via court justice.

What is feudalism short answer? ›

Feudalism was a system in which people were given land and protection by people of higher rank, and worked and fought for them in return.

What were the 3 responsibilities of peasants in the feudal system? ›

The life of a peasant was filled with arduous, monotonous work: planting and harvesting, raising and slaughtering live stock. Considering the amount of profits a fief produced, the peasants found it hard to get by. An estate manager and serfs during Medieval Europe.

What are feudal rights? ›

For example, the feudal lord had the right to take a tenant's land if he died without heirs; if he did have heirs, the lord was entitled to compensation for exercising wardship and granting permission to marry (see wardship and marriage).

What are the 4 roles in the feudal system? ›

The feudal system was just like an ecosystem - without one level, the entire system would fall apart. The hierarchies were formed up of 4 main parts: Monarchs, Lords/Ladies (Nobles), Knights, and Peasants/Serfs. Each of the levels depended on each other on their everyday lives.

What were the responsibilities of knights in the feudal system? ›

A knight ranked below the King and the Nobles, but above Peasants. The job of the Knights was to provide protection for the Nobles, who paid them in return. The Knights lived on plots of land provided by the Noble they served. The King would often ask Nobles to provide him with Knights to fight in a battle.

What is feudalism explain with example? ›

feudalism in American English

1. the economic, political, and social system in medieval Europe, in which land, worked by serfs who were bound to it, was held by vassals in exchange for military and other services given to overlords. 2. a society organized like that in medieval Europe.

What is the main idea of feudalism? ›

The main idea behind feudalism was to create a system in which along with land revenue, a standing army would be created for service. In other words feudalism was a system where the relationship in society was derived from the holding of land.

What are the main features of feudalism? ›

As defined by scholars in the 17th century, the medieval “feudal system” was characterized by the absence of public authority and the exercise by local lords of administrative and judicial functions formerly (and later) performed by centralized governments; general disorder and endemic conflict; and the prevalence of ...

What were the responsibilities of nobles? ›

The nobles' place in society was essentially to function as middle-men between the peasants and the royal family. Nobles provided work, land, and protection to the peasants while providing funding, supplies, and military service to the king. Noble life was far from the ordinary life of the time.

What are the responsibilities of a lord? ›

The Lords has three main roles:

Making laws. In-depth consideration of public policy. Holding government to account.

What were responsibilities of a vassal to his lord? ›

Vassals held an overall status superior to that of peasants and were considered equal to lords in social status. They took leadership positions in their locality and also served as advisers for lords in feudal courts. The price of a vassal's power was allegiance to the lord, or fealty.

Who started feudalism? ›

Feudalism was a social system that developed during the period called the Middle Ages in Europe. It probably began after the rule of Charlemagne, the leader of a mighty European empire. After Charlemagne's death in 814 his empire broke into several pieces.

What is a sentence for feudalism? ›

Feudalism sentence example. Feudalism was not at any time a national institution. Feudalism formed the starting-point also of the later social nobilities of Europe. The uniting of the personal and the land sides of feudalism came long after the conquest, and in a different way.

Why was feudalism important in the Middle Ages? ›

Feudalism in Western Europe was a politico-economic system that created a social fabric with military obligations. It produced a set of manners and norms – chivalry – and spawned an elegant form of literature that helped Europeans capture and develop pride in their histories.

What are the types of feudalism? ›

In conclusion, there were three most pronounced types of feudalism and they include, feu fermetenure, military tenure and blench tenure. These varied depending on the intended use of the money raised and the relationship between the overlord and the vassal.

Why did the feudal system work? ›

Feudalism emerged in response to the need for governments to be able to protect their subjects. The system worked because lower classes agreed to serve upper classes in exchange for protection. When the system ran smoothly, it led to peace and prosperity for everyone.

How did feudalism affect society? ›

Feudalism had two enormous effects on medieval society. Feudalism discouraged unified government and it also discouraged trade and economic growth.

How did the medieval feudal system work? ›

Classic feudalism

In broad terms a lord was a noble who held land, a vassal was a person who was granted possession of the land by the lord, and the land was known as a fief. In exchange for the use of the fief and protection by the lord, the vassal would provide some sort of service to the lord.

What were the responsibilities of a knight? ›

A knight was supposed to show bravery, strength and skill in battle (this was called prowess), to respect women, to defend the weak and the poor, to be generous to others and loyal to his lord, his family and his friends.

What is the feudal system in history? ›

the political, military, and social system in medieval Europe, based on the holding of lands in fief or fee and on the resulting relations between lord and vassal.

Why did feudalism develop? ›

Answer and Explanation: Feudalism developed during the Middle Ages in an attempt to reestablish control on the local level after a complete breakdown of centralized authority in the centuries after the Western Roman Empire collapsed.

Was feudalism a good system? ›

Feudalism was an effective form of government in the short term. It consolidated funding and power into the hands of a small number of people called lords. However, it was not effective in the long term. People in the lowest class, fiefs, had hard lives and oftentimes did not have access to the basic essentials.

How did feudalism ended? ›

The Black Death left in its wake a period of defiance and turmoil between the upper classes and the peasantry. The dispute regarding wages led to the peasants' triumph over the manorial economic system and ultimately ended in the breakdown of feudalism in England.

What were the advantages of feudalism? ›

A general advantage of feudalism was the stability that it brought. Serfs supported the infrastructure by providing essential goods and services. This, combined with an organized system of protection, helped maintain a steady balance that kept the kingdoms running.

When did feudalism start? ›

Although feudalism develops as early as the 8th century, under the Carolingian dynasty, it does not prevail widely in Europe until the 10th century - by which time virtually the entire continent is Christian.

What was the structure of feudal society? ›

A feudal society has three distinct social classes: a king, a noble class (which could include nobles, priests, and princes) and a peasant class. Historically, the king owned all the available land, and he portioned out that land to his nobles for their use. The nobles, in turn, rented out their land to peasants.

What rights did nobles have? ›

Noblemen and women received many rights to amenities for their jobs. For example most can receive their own estates with their own grounds, streams and fields. Another right they had was thier right to be excused from a variety of taxes.

Who did peasants work for? ›

In exchange for a place to live, serfs worked the land to grow crops for themselves and their lord. In addition, serfs were expected to work the farms for the lord and pay rent. Everyday peasants could be educated and marry if they could afford it.

Who was at the top of feudal system? ›

In feudalism, the king owned all of the land. The king granted fiefs (portions of land) to nobles (lords or barons) in return for loyalty, protection and service. Hence, he was the top leader, and Option A is correct.

What is feudal tax? ›

n. A form of direct royal taxation that was levied in France before 1789 on nonprivileged subjects and lands and tended to weigh most heavily on the peasants. [French, from Old French, division; see tail2.]

What were the three social classes of the feudal system? ›

Medieval writers classified people into three groups: those who fought (nobles and knights), those who prayed (men and women of the Church), and those who worked (the peasants). Social class was usually inherited. In Europe in the Middle Ages, the vast majority of people were peasants.

What is a feudal lord? ›

1. feudal lord - a man of rank in the ancient regime. seigneur, seignior. liege lord, liege - a feudal lord entitled to allegiance and service. overlord, lord, master - a person who has general authority over others.

What was the responsibility of the baron? ›

The work and duties of a medieval baron included, first and foremost, taking care of his land and hearing reports about estate crops, harvests, and supplies. He was also responsible for managing the finances of the estate which included taxes, rents, and dues.

What were three responsibilities of noblewomen who held their own fiefs? ›

Noblewomen ran manor households and supervised servants. They governed manors when husbands went to war. Some Noblewomen Like Eleanor Aquitaine had great political power. Other women who wanted power and influence joined the Christian Church.

How did craft guilds improve economic conditions in cities? ›

The specialization within a trade provided by the guild structure, along with the training and skills, led to increased productivity, increased wages, and higher standards of living. Guilds became a major source of employment for workers in cities, and guild membership was widespread.

What is feudal economy? ›

Feudalism was the economic and political system of Medieval Europe. It was land-based and built upon the system of loaning a loyal person land in return for military service and taxes. It depended upon loyalty and the use of land as wealth.

What is feudal state? ›

(fyo͞od′l-ĭz′əm) n. 1. A political and economic system of Europe from the 9th to about the 15th century, based on the holding of all land in fief or fee and the resulting relation of lord to vassal and characterized by homage, legal and military service of tenants, and forfeiture.

What countries used feudalism? ›

Feudalism spread from France to Spain, Italy, and later Germany and Eastern Europe. In England the Frankish form was imposed by William I (William the Conqueror) after 1066, although most of the elements of feudalism were already present.

Is feudalism still around? ›

In large part, feudalism died out by the 20th century. No major countries used the system after the 1920s. In 1956, the United Nations outlawed serfdom, one of the main labor methods of feudalism, because it was too similar to slavery.

Who benefited the most in a feudal society explain your answer? ›

They were now able to have an actual life and were able to be someone in society who had an actual influence on the world. This shows that they peasants benefited the most compared to the others in this feudal society. The Kings and the Nobles benefited the least from the fall.

Who used feudalism in the Middle Ages? ›

Medieval Feudalism began first in France around the 9th century. However, before the middle ages, Feudalism in Europe was being used by the Romans to a certain extent.

What are nobles responsibilities? ›

The nobles' place in society was essentially to function as middle-men between the peasants and the royal family. Nobles provided work, land, and protection to the peasants while providing funding, supplies, and military service to the king.

How did the feudal system affect people? ›

Feudalism had two enormous effects on medieval society. Feudalism discouraged unified government and it also discouraged trade and economic growth.

What role did peasants and serfs play in the feudal system? ›

Peasants worked the land to yield food, fuel, wool and other resources. The countryside was divided into estates, run by a lord or an institution, such as a monastery or college. A social hierarchy divided the peasantry: at the bottom of the structure were the serfs, who were legally tied to the land they worked.

What was a Lords responsibility? ›

The Lords has three main roles:

Making laws. In-depth consideration of public policy. Holding government to account.

How did feudalism start? ›

Origins of Feudalism

The system had its roots in the Roman manorial system (in which workers were compensated with protection while living on large estates) and in the 8th century kingdom of the Franks where a king gave out land for life (benefice) to reward loyal nobles and receive service in return.

Who was most powerful in feudalism? ›

The King. At the very top of the feudal system was the king. He presided over the land he ruled, directing and controlling what happened in his kingdom.

What rights did nobles have? ›

Noblemen and women received many rights to amenities for their jobs. For example most can receive their own estates with their own grounds, streams and fields. Another right they had was thier right to be excused from a variety of taxes.

What is the purpose of feudalism? ›

Overview. Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. It can be broadly defined as a system for structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land, known as a fiefdom or fief, in exchange for service or labour.

Who created feudalism? ›

In the 18th century, Adam Smith, seeking to describe economic systems, effectively coined the forms "feudal government" and "feudal system" in his book The Wealth of Nations (1776).

What is the main reason feudalism developed? ›

People of Western Europe needed protection from invading threats with control. Therefore kings thought that if they invent a system that allows their citizens to have what they want with a substantial servitude to whoever grants them with their possessions, then they would be protected.

Who benefited the most in a feudal society? ›

Answer and Explanation: The two groups at the top of the feudal system, lords and churchmen, probably benefited the most from the system. They tended to be the wealthiest, were immune from some forms of taxation, were able to collect dues and tithes from the general public, and were the most likely to be literate.

When did the feudalism begin? ›

Origins of the idea. The terms feudalism and feudal system were generally applied to the early and central Middle Ages—the period from the 5th century, when central political authority in the Western empire disappeared, to the 12th century, when kingdoms began to emerge as effective centralized units of government.

What was medieval life like? ›

Life was harsh, with a limited diet and little comfort. Women were subordinate to men, in both the peasant and noble classes, and were expected to ensure the smooth running of the household. Children had a 50% survival rate beyond age one, and began to contribute to family life around age twelve.

What were 2 duties of the vassal? ›

Vassals had many duties: Acting as the second in command of the lord and/or king. Managing the lord's manor and its entire estate. Supervising the day to day tasks completed by manor's residents (mainly peasants)

What is feudal tax? ›

n. A form of direct royal taxation that was levied in France before 1789 on nonprivileged subjects and lands and tended to weigh most heavily on the peasants. [French, from Old French, division; see tail2.]

Who did peasants work for? ›

In exchange for a place to live, serfs worked the land to grow crops for themselves and their lord. In addition, serfs were expected to work the farms for the lord and pay rent. Everyday peasants could be educated and marry if they could afford it.

Videos

1. Feudalism
(The Pacifist)
2. Civilization Feudalism Magna Carta Medieval Law an Intro roughdraft2
(Antoine Vick)
3. Feudal Europe: Ideas that Informed the American Founders, Part 32
(Center for Civic Education)
4. Taiho Code Shoen system, Feudalism
(e-Content:Languages)
5. The Middle Ages - Feudalism and the Knight - 4
(Historyden)
6. HIST 112 Lecture 8 - Feudalism & Feudal Society
(Dr. Dave the Historian)

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