Lack of central government for protection leads to rise of Feudalism
What is Feudalism? Feudalism : loosely organized system of government in which local lords governed their own lands but had to fight with their men for their king. They also gave money to a greater lord , who served the king.
Feudalism (political system) Who is in charge?
The kings had plenty of land but he could not control it all
So he gave land to lords and the church in exchange for protection and money.
Lords gave their land to knights in exchange for protection and money.
Knights protected serfs (peasants) and let them work the land.
William the Conqueror, the first Norman king of England, gave land to his nobles very carefully. He didn’t want them to be more poweful than the king, as it happened in France, so he gave small parts of land in different parts of the country, so no noble could easily gather his men to rebel. The king always kept a big part of the land.
Notice that William, as a king of England had no lord above him but, as Duke of Normandy, he had to recognise the king of France as a lord.
In 1086, William the Conqueror wanted to know exactly how much was produced and how much he could ask in tax.
The name “Domesday” comes from the fact that the people thought they could not escape from the king’s men’s questions and this remainded them of the paintings of the Day of Judgement (doom) in churches.
After many years of fights, Henry II (1133-1189) ruled England as a king and was also the lord of plenty of lands in France. He l aid the foundation for English Legal system. He began English Common Law (a legal system based on custom and court rulings).
He married Eleanor of Aquitaine and their sons Richard, the Lionheart and John were also important kings of England.