Feudalism and medieval life in England
medieval times quiz vassal, a noble who usually was given a fief by his lord in exchange for loyalty Explain the relationship between a lord and a vassal. Feudalism was a combination of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society around relationships . In exchange for the use of the fief and protection by the lord, the vassal would provide some sort of service to the lord. •Local nobles gained power while the Carolingian rulers fought each other. • Invasions in . •The relationship between lord and vassal was made official by a ceremony. . Assignment. •Complete Chapter 10, Lesson 1 Quiz.
A lord was in broad terms 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.
There were many varieties of feudal land tenureconsisting of military and non-military service. The obligations and corresponding rights between lord and vassal concerning the fief form the basis of the feudal relationship. This was done at a formal and symbolic ceremony called a commendation ceremonywhich was composed of the two-part act of homage and oath of fealty.
During homage, the lord and vassal entered into a contract in which the vassal promised to fight for the lord at his command, whilst the lord agreed to protect the vassal from external forces. Fealty comes from the Latin fidelitas and denotes the fidelity owed by a vassal to his feudal lord. Such an oath follows homage. The vassal's principal obligation to the lord was to "aid", or military service. Using whatever equipment the vassal could obtain by virtue of the revenues from the fief, the vassal was responsible to answer calls to military service on behalf of the lord.
This security of military help was the primary reason the lord entered into the feudal relationship. In addition, the vassal could have other obligations to his lord, such as attendance at his court, whether manorial, baronial, both termed court baronor at the king's court. At the level of the manor this might be a fairly mundane matter of agricultural policy, but also included sentencing by the lord for criminal offences, including capital punishment in some cases.
Concerning the king's feudal court, such deliberation could include the question of declaring war. These are examples; depending on the period of time and location in Europe, feudal customs and practices varied; see examples of feudalism. The "Feudal Revolution" in France[ edit ] In its origin, the feudal grant of land had been seen in terms of a personal bond between lord and vassal, but with time and the transformation of fiefs into hereditary holdings, the nature of the system came to be seen as a form of "politics of land" an expression used by the historian Marc Bloch.
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The 11th century in France saw what has been called by historians a "feudal revolution" or "mutation" and a "fragmentation of powers" Bloch that was unlike the development of feudalism in England or Italy or Germany in the same period or later: Power in this period became more personal. In response to this, the idea of a " liege lord " was developed where the obligations to one lord are regarded as superior in the 12th century.
Abolition of feudalism in France Feudalism effectively ended by about Vestiges of the Feudal system hung on in France until the French Revolution, and the system lingered on in parts of Central and Eastern Europe as late as the s. Russia finally abolished serfdom in Historian Georges Lefebvre explains how at an early stage of the French Revolutionon just one night of August 4,France abolished the long-lasting remnants of the feudal order.
It announced, "The National Assembly abolishes the feudal system entirely. Without debate the Assembly enthusiastically adopted equality of taxation and redemption of all manorial rights except for those involving personal servitude — which were to be abolished without indemnification.
Other proposals followed with the same success: Privileges of provinces and towns were offered as a last sacrifice. Thus the peasants got their land free, and also no longer paid the tithe to the church.
Manorialism Depiction of socage on the royal demesne in feudal England, c. Thus the feudal order embraces society from top to bottom, though the "powerful and well-differentiated social group of the urban classes" came to occupy a distinct position to some extent outside the classical feudal hierarchy.
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.
Feudalism and Medieval life
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.
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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. Hall life decreased as trade increased.
Trades specialized and tradesmen and women moved out of the hall.
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The communal life of the hall declined and families became more private. Manors sustained fewer people as trades separated from the manor community. The Peasant's Life Villages consisted of from families living in rough huts on dirt floors, with no chimneys or windows.