Chapter 8: The Rise of Europe Section 2 Feudalism and the Manor Economy
Feudalism: a new political & social system that governed medieval life Loosely organized system of rule --- powerful lords divided land among lesserlords (vassals) In return: vassals pledged loyalty and service to greater lords Feudal contract: exchange of pledges between lord and vassal established by custom/tradition Unwritten Blade of grass or handful of earth was symbolic of a binding contract The Emergence of Feudalism
Feudal contract: obligations of an upper lord (Duke) • Granted vassal (Earl) a fief – estate/tract of land • Peasants & towns/buildings on the land • Promise of protection in times of war • Guardian to vassal’s children if vassal died during warfare
Feudal contract: obligations of a vassal • Pledged loyalty • Provided lord with approx. 40 days of military service a year • Provided payments (food, goods, etc.) and sometimes advice • Payments made during knighthood of a lord’s son or marriage of a lord’s daughter
French Nobility Titles • Duc: possessor of a duchy • Marquis: possessor of a marquesate • Comte: possessor of a county • Vicomte: possessor of a viscounty • Baron: possessor of a barony • Prince: possessor of a principality • Seigneur: title of “sir” followed by name of fief
English Titles • Duke: comes from Latin Dux or leader • Marquess: comes from French Marquis/form of marche or English borders with Wales and Scotland • Earl: from Anglo-Saxon eorl or military leader • Viscount: from Latin vicecomes or vice-count • Baron: from Germanic baro or freeman • Baronet: a lesser baron • Knight: from Anglo-Saxon cniht or boy/youth/servant
The World of Nobles: Knighthood • _________was a way of life • Rival lords battled for power • Many boys were trained to be knights (mounted warriors) – began during time of Charlemagne • Sent to castle of his father’s lord for strict training (Page-Squire-Knighthood) • 1100s: tournaments (mock battles) came into fashion – were dangerous – captured knights often held for ransom
Castles • Fortified homes built by powerful lords to withstand attack • Protected by high walls, a moat, drawbridges, towers, a keep, etc. • Wars often centered on seizing castles.
Noblewomen • Acted as “lady of the manor” while husband was off fighting • Supervised vassals, managed household, spun wool into thread, performed agricultural & medical tasks • Only a few privileged women took a hand in politics or learned to read and write. • Feudal system restricted women’s rights to inherit land (passed to eldest son) – women did receive land as part of their dowry, a gift of property or money passed to her husband. • Marriages were arranged.
Married King Louis VII of France at age 15 – had 2 daughters – marriage was annulled Went on the 2nd Crusade Married King Henry II of England – gave birth to 5 sons & 3 daughters Failed in an attempt (with 2 of her sons) to overthrow Henry & spent 15 years in prison Son Richard the Lionheart became King of England & freed her from prison Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204)“The Grandmother of Europe”
Chivalry • Chivalrywas a code of conduct adopted by knights • Knights required to be brave and loyal, fight fairly and treat captured knights fairly • Troubadours (wandering poets) held women on a pedestal – their love songs praised the beauty, perfection and wit of women
In your notebooks! • Read Peasants and Manor Life (pgs. 189-190) • In your notebooks explain the responsibilities of a lord and peasant in the manorial system • Describe (or sketch) the setup of a typical medieval manor. • Briefly describe peasant life on the manor.