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Today we will be discussing the “F” word Feudalism…. What were YOU thinking??
Do Now • The topic of today’s lesson is the social, political and economic structure of feudalism • What is the meaning of each word in this context? • Social- • Political- • Economic- The people who lived in that society The type of government in that society The way they made money
Hierarchy • All three of these structures are based on the strict hierarchy (ranking system) of feudalism King Lord Lesser Lord (Vassal) Knight/Freemen (craftsmen) Serf
Social Structure • People were born into their social class and it was impossible to change it • Educated- Kings & Queens and other Nobility: Lords, Dukes, Counts • Knightly Class- some were of Noble birth, if not, could receive an education from a lord. • Illiterate- Townspeople/Freemen (shopkeepers, craftsmen and other workers) • Treated like a farm animal- Serfs (peasant farmers- owned practically nothing)
Political Structure King rules over his entire Kingdom (growing larger and larger as the Middle ages progressed) • The Lord pays taxes to the King and must send his own army to protect him if needed • Rules over his Manor (fief) • Lesser Lords (Vassals) work for the Lord in exchange for his protection • Freemen pay the Lord’s taxes in exchange for his protection • Serfs farm the land for the Lord in exchange for his protection (taxes were crops & meat)
Economic Structure Very big gap between social classes: Very Rich and Very Poor (not many in between) • The Royalty and Nobility made $ (in addition to the $ they inherited) from collecting taxes • Knights were often paid for their service, some had other occupations as well • Freemen were named such because they could take their shop or craft anywhere if they wanted and make $ • Serfs made no $. They had a plot of land near their hut for their food, paid the Lord taxes in farmed goods and bartered (traded for things that they needed)