European Feudalism AP World History – Unit 2
Cause and Effect • Cause – Fall of Rome • Evidence • No Central Authority • Constant Warfare • Smaller Kingdoms • Decline in Education • Increased Power of the Church • Effect – Feudalism
Why Feudalism? • Social & Political system that developed after the collapse of the Roman Empire. • Important Characteristics • Loyalty • Service • Hierarchies of Power • Protection
Kings and Royalty • Highest position. • Controlled large amounts of land. • Provided Fiefs to nobles in exchange for loyalty and service. • Fiefs were plots of land. • The land included any livestock, crops, and/or serfs/peasants that lived on the land. • Lived in a Castle.
Lords • Received Fief in exchange for service to King. • Controlled large amounts of land. • Lived on a Manor. • Provided income and soldiers to King. • Peasants worked the land. • Provided food, services, & clothing for the Lord.
Clergy • Served a Lord and the Manor. • Lived in monasteries or churches on the Manor. • Focused on serving the church. • Received support from the Lord’s Manor. • Lord, Knights, & Peasants provided needs.
Knights • Received land from the Lords in exchange for fighting. • Started training as a page at the age of 7-8, under the guidance of the lady of the manor. • Became a Squire at age 13-15 and were trained by other knights. • Knighthood at 18 years old, only if they were deemed worthy of being “dubbed”. • Lived by the code of Chivalry. • Almost all nobles were knights.
Peasants • Served a Lord and the Manor. • There were two groups of Peasants. • Freemen and Serfs. • Lived in villages on the Manor. • Lord allowed Peasants to live on the land in exchange for food & services. • Gave most of the crops to the Lord. • Serfs could not leave a Lord without consent from the Lord.
Workers on the Manor • The two groups of Peasants: • Freemen • Skilled workers who paid rent and could leave the manor whenever they wished. • They usually had a skill needed by others on the manor. • Serfs • Workers bound to the land by contract with the nobles. • They had no freedom - they where the noble’s property.
Relationship Between the Lords and Vassals • A Vassal was anyone who was given land and protection in exchange for service to a Lord. • The relationship between Lords and Vassals made up a big part of the political and social structure of the feudal system • Vassals had certain duties to perform for the Lord. • All Nobles were ultimately Vassals of the King.