What is feudalism?After the death of Charlemagne,organized government disappearedEurope became ruled by independentleadersThis political organization is known as theFeudal System or Feudalism –relationship between lords and vassals.People entered into the feudal contract forprotection.
The Structure of Feudalism King And Queen Church Officials And Nobles Knights Peasants
Social GroupsNobles - Lords– Granted land to a lesser noble while retaining ownership– This allowed the lesser noble the ability to maintain their household– The grant of the land was called a fief– The person who received the land was called a vassal– Vassals could further divide the land and become a lord
The system cont… - A Count was a nobleman in charge of an area of land called a county - The lord’s messenger – “missi dominici” were men sent out to local districts to ensure that the counts were carrying out the kings’ wishes.- The fiefs became hereditary -Primogeniture is the system of inheritance from fatherto eldest son- Essentially, every landholder was a vassal to the King- But, the King only controlled those living on his feudallands
Rights of WomenWomen had limitedproperty rights – Woman may have fiefs in her dowry – With marriage, her husband gained control of the dowry
Feudal JusticeThree kinds of feudal trials – Trial by battle Determined by the outcome of the duel – Compurgation (oath taking) Accused and accuser were supported by people who swore their side was telling the truth – Trial by ordeal Determined by how the accused survived a particular ordeal (ex. Immersion in cold water)
Medieval ManorsManors were large farming estates thatincluded manor houses, cultivated lands,woodlands, pastures, fields, and villagesNo central authority or organized tradeHow did they get what they needed?
Self-sufficiencyManors were forced to be self sufficient– They produced everything they needed– Items like iron, salt, wood, wine, and other manufactured goods were purchased– Land of the manor was shared by a lord and several peasant families– About one-third of land was kept for the lord, while the rest was farmed by the peasants
Manor VillagesPeasants gave the lord some of theircrops and helped farm his landThey also paid many taxesMost manor villages were located along astream or a riverTwo of the three fields were cultivated,while the other was fallow to regain itsfertilitiy
The Life of a PeasantSpent long hours in the fieldsMost serfs could not leave the landwithout the permission of the lord– Could not hunt on the lord’s property or afford to raise their own animals, so they rarely ate meat– Life expectancy was very short because of diet, warfare, disease, and starvation
NoblesThe upper class of the Middle ages did notlive in luxuryCastles were bases for the lord to enforceauthority and protect the countrysideCastles built on hillsMoats were built around Castles on flatland– These protected it and drawbridges allowed access to castle over the flooded moats
Nobles cont.A “keep” was the main building of thecastle and was used as a storeroom,workshop, and lord’s living quartersMen acquired land through marriage
ChivalryChivalry: a code of conductDictated knights’ behavior toward othersChivalry comes from the French wordcheval, meaning horse, because knightswere mounted soldiersKnights were expected to be courageousin battle and fight fairlyAlso, be loyal, treat his conquered foesgallantly, and be courteous to women andthe less powerful
How do I become a Knight?Knights had to belong to a noble class andpass two stages of training– Stage 1: age of seven when a boy would be a knight’s page, or attendant– Stage 2: knight’s assistant, or squire He would take care of the knight’s horse, armor, and weapons