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Feudalism - Assignment Example

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Feudalism which is also known as feudal system was a historiographical paradigm that designated the political, social and economic situation in Western Europe in early Middle Ages between the 9th and 15th century (Njenga 2001 p. 2). During this time, approximately 80% to 90%…
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Download file to see previous pages According to Nathan (2001 p. 3), it also had a highly trained military force (warriors) who were very expensive to maintain.
On the other hand, the origin of feudalism can be linked with the expansion of the Roman Empire. It is believed that during the expansion, the Empire decentralized its reign and allocated land, power and authority to a group of people in exchange of military and slave services.
Economic system According to Karl Marx, agriculture was the main pillar of economic development of feudalism. During the 12th century, most of the land was owned by dioceses, senior people and monasteries making the feudal system to be a way of ruling and communicating to the whole population. The land owners (landlords) gave out land as gifts to the less fortunate class people to cultivate. They peasants were supposed to cultivate it and give a certain amount of their harvest to the landlords in exchange of economic benefits, military services and of course public services.
Just like the economic system, the social system of feudalism was hierarchical too. Every person had his or her own allegiance any person who was higher than him or her. The highest man was the King, followed by the lord (owner of the land also known as “Vassal” and “Caballero” in Spanish), Barons, knights and lastly the peasants. In order to maintain control, law, order and power, the medieval King was the one ranked highest who was above everything else and a warrior (Burn 1994 p. 234)
The king owned a vast land which he gave out to any person who wanted to be part of his army as compensation; and that was the only way he could maintain a retinue of knights. Lands ownership laws were invoked again and again in order to reclaim property for the purpose recruitment of soldiers. Actually, the loyalty was basically a slavery type since the vassals knew they could not free themselves from his lord (Burn 1994 p. 251).
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