Feudalism as the structure that governed the medieval society

Mounted soldiers began to secure a system of hereditary rule over their allocated land and their power over the territory came to encompass the social, political, judicial, and economic spheres.

Feudalism as the structure that governed the medieval society

Feudalism in practice meant that the country was not governed by the king but by individual lords, or barons, who administered their own estates, dispensed their own justice, minted their own money, levied taxes and tolls, and demanded military service from vassals.

Feudalism as the structure that governed the medieval society

Usually the lords could field greater armies than the king. In theory the king was the chief feudal lord, but in reality the individual lords were supreme in their own territory.

Many kings were little more than figurehead rulers. Lower Brockhampton manor, Herefordshire Feudal Ties Feudalism was built upon a relationship of obligation and mutual service between vassals and lords.

A vassal held his land, or fief, as a grant from a lord. When a vassal died, his heir was required to publicly renew his oath of faithfulness fealty to his lord suzerain. This public oath was called "homage".

A Vassal's Obligations The vassal was required to attend the lord at his court, help administer justice, and contribute money if needed. He must answer a summons to battle, bringing an agreed upon number of fighting men. As well, he must feed and house the lord and his company when they travelled across his land.

This last obligation could be an onerous one. William the Conqueror travelled with a very large household, and if they extended their stay it could nearly bankrupt the lord hosting them.

In a few days of Christmas feasting one year William and his retinue consumed 6, chickens, 1, rabbits, 90 boars, 50 peacocks, geese, 10, eels, thousands of eggs and loaves of bread, and hundreds of casks of wine and cider.

A Lord's Obligations On the lord's side, he was obliged to protect the vassal, give military aid, and guard his children. If a daughter inherited, the lord arranged her marriage.

If there were no heirs the lord disposed of the fief as he chose. Manors Manors, not villages, were the economic and social units of life in the early Middle Ages. A manor consisted of a manor house, one or more villages, and up to several thousand acres of land divided into meadow, pasture, forest, and cultivated fields.

This land was shared out so that each person had an equal share of good and poor. At least half the work week was spent on the land belonging to the lord and the church. Time might also be spent doing maintenance and on special projects such as clearing land, cutting firewood, and building roads and bridges.

The rest of the time the villagers were free to work their own land. Food and Drink The fare at the lord's table was as full of variety as the peasant's was spare. Meat, fish, pastries, cabbage, turnips, onions, carrots, beans, and peas were common, as well as fresh bread, cheese, and fruit.

At a feast spitted boar, roast swan, or peacock might be added.

Middle Ages feudalism and the society

Normans dining Wine or ale was drunk, never water, which was rightly considered suspect. Ale was the most common drink, but it was not the heady alcoholic drink we might imagine. It was thin, weak, and drunk soon after brewing. It must have had little effect on sobriety.

Fruit juices and honey were the only sweeteners, and spices were almost unknown until after the Crusades. Table Manners Meat was cut with daggers and all eating was done with the fingers from trenchers, or hollowed out husks of bread. One trencher was used by two people, and one drinking cup.

Scraps were thrown on the floor for the dogs to finish. There were no chimneys, and the fireplace was in the middle of the hall. Smoke escaped by the way of louvres in the roof at least in theory. House Layout In the early medieval period the centre of life in castles and manors was the great hall, a huge, multipurpose chamber safely built upon the second floor.

These halls were dimly lit, due to the need for massive walls with small windows for defense from attack. In the 14th century the hall descended to the ground floor, and windows grew in size, indicating increased security.

The solar, or family room, remained on the first floor. It became the custom for the family to eat in the solar, leaving the great hall to minor guests and servants.The greater part of medieval civilization was a time of simplicity and little cultural development.

Feudalism was the structure that governed medieval society and came to represent this time period. Feudalism is a term used to describe the type of economic and political arrangement that dominated the highest levels of society in Medieval Europe. It influenced the political structure and the.

Feudalism was the structure that governed medieval society and came to represent this time period. The church became the universal symbol of medieval unity. Toward the end of the medieval period, however, town life and large-scale trade and commerce were revived.

The End of Feudalism Many factors led to the gradual disintegration of the feudal system. However, I believe that two of the main aspects that contributed to the dissolution of medieval feudalism were urbanization as well as the increase in power and wealth of the merchant class.

The monarch lived in a castle and governed over all of the manors in the land. Below is a photo of my beloved king's castle, Richard the Lionheart! The next highest level in the medieval social structure was the lords, or nobles.

Feudalism as the structure that governed the medieval society

The monarch lived in a castle and governed over all of the manors in the land. Below is a photo of my beloved king's castle, Richard the Lionheart! The next highest level in the medieval social structure was the lords, or nobles.

Government in the Middle Ages | Middle Ages