Aim: How did feudalism represent a response to changing conditions in Europe? • Do Now: Feudal Relationships 1-3
Feudalism • Feudalism was a decentralized system. • Pledge of service in exchange for land • Mutual obligations • Based on personal loyalty or bonds. • Two fundamental classes – those who fight and those who labor. 1) Warrior elite 2) Subject peasantry – serfs.
Feudalism 900s - most Europeans were governed by small, independent leaders in a system called feudalism
Vassalage – ties of allegiance. Lords granted land to lesser nobles (vassals) in return for loyalty, military assistance, and other services
Fiefs The grant of land was called a fief – vassals did not own the land but used it to maintain themselves and their household
Subinfeudation A vassal could divide the land and grant it to others, thus also becoming a lord A vassal giving homage to his lord
Benefice and Homage • A benefice was a grant of land for a fixed term of service. • Homage was the oath of vassalage.
Primogeniture Fiefs became hereditary, passed from father to eldest son under a system called primogeniture Charlemagne’s family tree
Women Women only had limited property rights but retained control of her dowry if her husband died
Warfare Local wars between feudal lords were common; large-scale wars were extremely destructive
Warfare Knights wore chain mail or metal plate armor and were armed with a sword, shield, and lance
Wars offered opportunities for glory and wealth for nobles, but caused great suffering and hardship
The church tried to limit suffering by issuing decrees that prohibited certain acts of violence Medieval Monk, Bishop and Priest
Feudal justice Feudal justice was decided by trial by battle, oath-taking, or trial by ordeal Trial by the ordeal of fire, where the suspect had to carry a bar of red-hot iron in his hands while he walked nine marked paces. In the unlikely event of no burns appearing on his hand, he was judged innocent.
Aim: Did the medieval peasant benefit from the feudal system? • Do Now: Meet the Medievals, 1-4
The Manorial System Manors were self-sufficient farming estates shared by lords and peasants (serfs) – manorialism shaped the economic structure
A. Function • Western Europe was much more rural than Eastern Europe • Manorialism was the economic foundation of feudal society • The “open field” system of medieval farming • Origin and status of serfdom • By 800 AD, nearly 60% of western Europe was enserfed
The Manorial System Serfs farmed the land and gave crops, services, loyalty, and taxes to the lord Serfs paying annual taxes to their lord in cash and with livestock
The Manorial System The life span of a serf was short due to disease, starvation, and war; upper class lives were not luxurious
B. Life in a Medieval Village • Living conditions of the serfs • Striking lack of privacy for family members • Variety of dietary options for peasants • The central role of bread in the peasant diet—80% of caloric content
B. Life in a Medieval Village (cont) • Center of manorial life was the village church • Village church services • Life was short and frightening for village peasants • Village life was strictly hierarchical • Village life was also very communal • Village life was always very local
The Manorial System Marriage was viewed as a means to advance one’s fortune or the way a man might acquire land
Chivalry By the late 1100s chivalry had begun to bring major changes to feudal society
Chivalry Chivalry was a code of conduct that dictated the knight’s behavior toward others
Knights Knights were expected to be courageous, fair, loyal, honest, gallant, and courteous to women
Bodo • Bodo’s wife - Ermentrude • Bodo’s children - Wido, Gerbert, Hildegard
Bodo and Lord Ramsey • Why is Bodo unhappy? • How did the lord fail to protect the serfs? • Why does Bodo think the system is unfair? • How does Lord Ramsey respond to Bodo’s complaint? • Who do you think has it better, Bodo or Lord Ramsey? Explain why. • If you were Bodo, what would you do?
Group Work • What is good and bad about the life of a Medieval peasant? • Task – Make a list of pros and cons
Serfdom • How did feudalism provide security for the peasants? • How were the serfs obligated to serve the lords? • How was the life of the peasant limited? • Is the right to stay on the lord’s land more important than the freedom to leave?