Western Civilization University High School 2011-12 Feudalism and Manorialism
Post-Charlemagne • Frankish kingdom Charlemagne’s son contention among 3 grandsons • Treaty of Verdun: divided empire into 3 parts • Charlemagne = last large unified state in Europe (Hitler, Napoleon?)
Feudalism • decentralized Frankish power increased localized power • nobles owned lots of land, gained military followings • oaths of loyalty to nobles made followers into vassals(Celtic word for “servant”) • nobles became lords
Feudalism • vassals gave aid (military & otherwise), support, & loyalty to lord • lords gave protection to vassals • fief: land that vassals lived on (but still belonged to lord) • included towns, churches, farms, forests, etc. • ***Feudalism was all about personal loyalties at local level, not loyalty to some distant unknown king.***
Manorialism • most Middle Ages Europeans were not in feudal systems… • manorialism: people lived in manors (Latin for “dwelling”) • family groups in villages, small towns • still a relationship between lords and vassals
Manorialism • when entering relationship with lord, farmers lost free status (“serfs”) • bound to land, could not leave without lord’s permission • not quite slavery (didn’t own the person), but serfs subject to lord’s rules & laws
Results of Feudalism & Manorialism • moderate population growth • reduced forests, wild lands • nobles • lived well (clothes, heated homes) • males hunted & managed estates • females raised children, education (sometimes even became nobles themselves) • serfs/vassals • dependence, not much opportunity for social advancement
Feudalism activity • Step 1: Draw a role • 1 King 4 Nobles 28 Serfs • Step 2: Organize classroom into 4 manors, with a Noble in charge of each. All 4 Nobles answer to the King. • Step 3: Distribute money (M&Ms) and banks (plastic cups) to everyone.
Feudalism activity • Step 4: Get to work! • Serfs must plant crops to earn money • 1 piece of paper per tile (elbows only!) go back to desk and make a checkmark • Step 5: Get paid! • Serfs get 4 M&Ms for each crop planted. • Serfs may keep 1 of those 4 M&Ms. The other 3 go to their Noble. • For each 3 M&Ms that a Noble receives, 2 must go to the King.
Feudalism activity discussion questions • 1. How many M&Ms did everyone end up with? • 2. Is feudalism a fair system? • 3. Why do you think that feudalism worked? • 4. What need would the nobles and king have for all that food and material?