Feudalism and Manorialism What’s the difference between feudalism and manorialism? What was life like on the manor? How did noble life differ from serfs?
Vocabulary • Feudalism- political and social system of western Europe • local government based on the granting of land for loyalty, military assistance, other services • Fief- land given to a vassal from a lord • Vassal- person granted land from a lord in return for services • Serf- peasants bound to the land where they worked for a lord.
Manorial System • Manorialism shaped the economy of much of Europe • for safety and defense, people formed small communities around a central lord or master • Most people (lords and serfs) lived on a manor, which consisted of the castle, the church, the village, and the surrounding farm land • manors were isolated • manor usually located along a stream or river
Manorial System • People had to produce everything they needed, including food, clothing, and shelter • Items such as iron, salt, wool, wine, and certain manufactured goods, were purchased • Peasants gave the lord some of their crops (taxes) and helped to farm his land • Land was divided into 3 fields for growing grain • Only two of the three fields were planted at one time. The third field could lie fallow, or unplanted, for a season to regain its fertility.
Feudal System • Feudalism provided social and political structure to the culture of the Middle Ages • King awarded fiefs to most important nobles for soldiers in the king’s armies • The lowest class of society was the peasants and serfs • In exchange for living and working on his land, the lord offered his peasants protection • Nobles divided their land among the lesser nobility, who became their servants or “vassals”
By 1100, certain nobles had castles and courts that rivaled the king’s serious threats if they were not pleased with the king The medieval church owned vast land and had their own vassals Feudal System
Feudal justice • Lords assumed the roles of judges in carrying out the laws of the manor • A feudal trial was decided in one of three ways: trial by battle, compurgation, or trial by ordeal. • battle- could be a duel in which the outcome determined innocence or guilt • compurgation- oath taking; similar to character witnesses in today's trials. • ordeal- accused had to carry a piece of hot iron, plunge his hand in a pot of boiling water, or survive extended immersion in cold water. • If accused person's wounds healed quickly and well, he was innocent; if not, guilty
Peasant Life • Peasants worked hard labor jobs and were heavily taxed • Children as a source of farm labor • The peasants were not free • could not leave manor without permission • Not allowed to hunt on the lord’s land, so rarely ate meat • Serfs had short life expectancies due to disease, starvation, warfare
Noble Life • The lord spent most of his day managing and organizing the manor • Marriage as a way to advance fortune, status and land • Women's rights regarding legal property were limited • When married, her husband gained control over her rights and money • cooking, baking bread, sewing, weaving, and spinning • Occasionally hunted, fought in battles