History: European/Fudelism term paper 3853

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Feudalism

"Feudalism comes from the word comes from a Latin term for fief. Fiefs were the estate or land granted by a lord in return for a vassals loyalty and service."

Feudalism Started in the 900 AD and was a medieval contract relationship among the European upper classes, by which a lord granted land to The Knight in return for military service and other services like food and clothing. Feudalism was the localization of political and economic power from the hands of lords and their vassals (the Knights), each of which ruled their district in the way there wanted. The term feudalism is a division of governmental power spreading over various dominated districts. It does not refer to the social and economic relationships between the peasants and their lords, which are defined as MANORIALISM. This is some stuff that you will learn more of in this report.

Origins and Early History

The European feudalism has been sought in non-European countries like Japan was a feudal (feudalism) based counties. The Japanese had no contract between the peasants and there were no clear roles of lords and under lords.

Feudalism was, in its origin, a blend of Roman custom and Germanic elements (for example sworn faithfulness) to a setup a mutually protective relationship for the kings and serfs.

When the German invaders conquered the western Roman Empire in the 5th century, they destroyed the professional Roman army and substituted their own armies, made up of warriors who served their chieftains for honor and booty. The warriors fought on foot and lived off the countryside. As long as they fought one another, they needed no cavalry. But when the Muslims, the Vikings, and the Magyars invaded Europe in the 8th, 9th, and 10th centuries, the Germans found themselves unable to deal with these Rapid & shy moving armies. So they started to get horses to help fight, but war horses were expensive, and training to use them took years of practice and the help of the land and vassals (from a Gaelic word meaning servant) were needed to help train the horses and, The vassal not only took the oath loyalty, which everyone owed to his lord, but also a special oath of homage to the feudal lord who gave him land. The Lord and vassal were interlocked in a bunch of mutual rights and obligations, to the advantage of both. Where the lord owed his vassal protection and the vassal owed his lord a specified number of days annually in military service and supplies of goods, and the lord was expected to provide a military for his king.

With that feudalism was a political as well as military institution, one based upon a contract between two individuals, both of whom held rights in the land one worked.

Because the military service of the KNIGHTS was a central element of feudalism, they made things like the introduction of heavy cavalry during the 8th century and the introduction of the stirrup, which greatly increased the efficiency of fighting on horseback for the knights the Long bow. With that the knight had to be able to maintain expensive equipment and a horse, and with that he would have to practice fighting and teach others how to fight as he got older. So to do that he needed a great deal of wealth to do this if he was supported by the work and labor of his people.

The way feudalism works it resembles a pyramid, at the lowest are the vassals ((serf or peasants ) at its base and the true life of the whole thing) and, above them are the lines of authority the knights and, then the lord and, flowing up to the peak of the structure is the king. Common in all, was the process by which one nobleman (the vassal) became the man of another (the lord) by swearing homage and faithfulness to the lord, with some kind of oath like this one

( An Anglo Saxon Form of Commendation [from Schmidt: Gesetze der Angelsachsen, p. 404] )

"Thus shall one take the oath of fidelity:

By the Lord before whom this sanctuary is holy, I will to N. be true and faithful, and love all which he loves and shun all which he shuns, according to the laws of God and the order of the world. Nor will I ever with will or action, through word or deed, do anything which is unpleasing to him, on condition that he will hold to me as I shall deserve it, and that he will perform everything as it was in our agreement when I submitted myself to him and chose his will."

(Acceptance of an Antrusian, 7th Century [from Roziere: Collection de Formules, No. VIII, Vol.

I, p. 8])

"It is right that those who offer to us unbroken fidelity should be protected by our aid. And since such and such a faithful one of ours, by the favor of God, coming here in our palace with his arms, has seen fit to swear trust and fidelity to us in our hand, therefore we decree and command by the present precept that for the future such and such above mentioned be counted with the number of antrustions. And if anyone perchance should presume to kill him, let him know that he will be judged guilty of his wergild of 600 shillings."

(from E. P. Cheyney, trans, University of Pennsylvania. Dept. of History: Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European history, published for the Dept. of History of the University of Pennsylvania., Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press [1898]. Vol. IV, No:3, 3-5)

Finically the vassal owed his lord a fee known as relief and was expected to contribute to the lord's ransom when or if he captured and to his crusading expenses, and had to share the financial burden when the lord's eldest son was knighted and his eldest daughter married. And if the vassal wanted to marry off his daughter or for himself to take a wife he had to seek his lord's permission, and if the vassal die leaving a widow or young children they would be provided for by the lord, for education, support, and marriage. And if the vassal died without heirs, his land would be returned to the lord.

But however it varied from nation to nation. But in most of the nations the kings were at the top of the pyramid but the landed ruled by their offices rather than by the use of their feudal positions.

The extent of feudalism was not so large as it seems for many parts of Europe were never feudalized; feudalism was largely confined to northern France, western Germany, England, and the Norman kingdom of Sicily. Other parts of Europe experienced some feudalism, but it was never a long used form of law.

The decline

The decline of feudalism started even before the sign of decline appeared. During the 13th century feudalism reached its high for development and also began to decline. It had reached the point where superior lords had difficulty obtaining the service to which they were entitled. Vassals preferred to give money payments instead of personal military service to their lords "what was known in England as bastard feudalism" (Grolier Encyclopedia 1997), and the lords themselves tended to prefer the money because it enabled them to hire professional troops that were often better trained and disciplined than the vassals. Moreover, a revival of infantry tactics and the introduction of new weapons, such as the longbow and the pike, made cavalry tactics less certain of victory.

The centralization of strong lordships, whether as kings or territorial rulers was that if you were the king then you didn't have much control over the peasants because they didn't have to listen the king but to there lord in the church and to the one they swore to obey and follow, and the mutual relationships between lord and vassal steadily weakened. The church too started to fall because the people Started to look to the more logical reasons and the people wanted education. The Kings got more money and could a ford to get use of armies and get his own instead of having the peasants' fight for him, (the warriors fought for the money) and the king had the use of guns to. The Black Death that wiped out half of Europe. All this combined destroy feudalism slowly and inexorably and all this was largely complete by the end of the 14th century.

Conclusion

"Feudalism did not cause warfare; warfare caused feudalism." (

The main idea of feudalism was to set a stop to invasions and provide protection to the people that where poor and to the rich from the vaddles and other like that, which it did for Hundreds of years and well till the end where it was used more for personal greed. The historical significance of feudalism: Brought around the idea of taxation levied and also it contributed the idea of government. Then the creation of the stirrups Saddles and weapons like the long bow, and pike, and the making of CASTLE architecture with an epic beauty of the way it was made.

Opinion

In my opinion I think that the use of feudalism was a good idea back then but if it happened now it would be stupid for you would be working for next to nothing for you self but for your lord and all you get is protection But doses that not remind you of us now "The Government."

Bibliography

World book Encyclopedia,The Vol.F Field Enterprises Educational Corporation

Toronto 1997-74

Grolier Encyclopedia Mindscape

Torono 1997

Collection de Formules, No. VIII, Vol.I University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania Press [1898]

Schmidt: Gesetze der Angelsachsen,Translated

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