What was Feudalism in the Middle Ages? Feudalism was based on the exchange of land ( Fief ) for military service, called the Feudal Levy. King William the Conqueror used the concept of feudalism to reward his Norman supporters for their help in the conquest of England. Feudalism, demanded that everyone owed allegiance to the King and their immediate superior. Everyone was expected to pay for the land by providing the following services: Work days - completing any chores required Providing trained soldiers to fight for the King Providing equipment - clothes and weapons - for the soldiers"Middle Ages Feudalism." Middle Ages. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. <http://www.middle- ages.org.uk/middle-ages-feudalism.htm>.
When was Feudalism establishedin England? Feudalism in England was established by William the Conqueror and the Normans following the defeat of the English Anglo Saxons at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The system and structure of feudalism had been well established in Europe for some time and the Normans imposed feudalism in England."Feudalism." Middle Ages. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. <http://www.middle- ages.org.uk/feudalism.htm>.
Feudalism Pyramid - Fealty andHomage During the Middle Ages a portion of land called a fief would be granted by the King. This reward would be granted to him by his lord in exchange for his services. The recipient of the fief would be one of his vassals. The fief, or land, was usually granted following a Commendation Ceremony. The commendation ceremony was designed to create a lasting bond between a vassal and his lord. Fealty and homage were a key element of feudalism."Feudalism Pyramid." Middle Ages. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. <http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/feudalism-pyramid.htm>.
Feudalism - The Pyramid ofPower The pyramid of power which was the Feudal system ran to a strict pecking order - during the Medieval period of the Middle Ages everyone knew their place. The order of rank and precedence in the Medieval Feudal System was as follows: The Pope The King Nobles Knights / Vassals Freemen Yeomen Servants Peasants / Serfs / Villeins "Feudalism Pyramid." Middle Ages. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. <http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/feudalism- pyramid.htm>.
The Feudalism Pyramid and thePope Feudalism was based on the belief that the land belonged to God - but that the Kings, who ruled by Divine Right, managed the land and used it as they wished. However, under the Feudalism pyramid the King was answerable to the Pope. The Pope, as Gods vicar on Earth, had the right to intervene and impose sanctions on an unjust King. Under the feudalism pyramid the Pope had the power to pronounce judgement against a King, depose a King, forfeit his Kingdom, put another King in his place or excommunicate a King. The power and pronouncements of the Pope played a major part in the History of England. The Pope declared the Norman Invasion as a Holy Crusade and declared his support of William the Conqueror against the claim of King Harold."Feudalism Pyramid." Middle Ages. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. <http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/feudalism-pyramid.htm>.
The Decline of Feudalism The decline of feudalism came when rich nobles were allowed to pay for soldiers rather than to fight themselves. Life changed and Mercenaries were hired from all over Europe. The Mercenaries had few allegiances, except to money, and these paid fighting men were feared throughout Europe. The threat of the Mercenaries led on to the employment of professional, trained soldiers - the Standing Armies and ultimately the end of Middle Ages feudalism in England."Decline of Feudalism." Middle Ages. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. <http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/decline-of-feudalism.htm>.
Reasons for the Decline ofFeudalism The reasons for the decline of Feudalism during the Medieval period of the Middle Ages included: The Crusades and travel during the Middle Ages opened new trade options to England England started to move from land based economy to a money based economy The Black Death - this reduced the population of England by one third. Labour became a valuable commodity The Peasants Revolt - Peasants realised their worth and demanded changes. Charters were granted but ignored by nobles More trade saw the growth of more towns
cont Peasants moved away from the country into towns they were eventually allowed to buy their freedom Land was rented and the rights of lords over labour decreased The Feudal Levy was unpopular and as time went by Nobles preferred to pay the King rather than to fight and raise troops Armed men were paid a wage and Medieval warfare was financed by taxes and loans Nobles became weaker - the Kings took back their lands and power A centralised government was established"Decline of Feudalism." Middle Ages. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. <http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/decline-of- feudalism.htm>.