West European Studies

Feudalism refers to military and political practices in medieval Europe that occurred amid the 19TH century and 15th century.

Sacking of Rome by Visigoths resulted to feudalism in Europe. This spearheaded (Brown, Elizabeth 1065) the Romans living in Europe to move back to their native land abandoning the land in Europe without organisation as well as Roman centralisation system. Disintegration of Europe following the Roman power exit gradually led to Feudalism systems. The initial feudalism components occurred in Germany and France in the ninth and tenth centuries. Roman regime elements were taken to military and political practices. Furthermore, Roman villas alongside their property were given to leaders of the military temporarily in return to their loyalty both to the emperor and to Rome (Salisbury, Joyce & Sherman, Dennis 229).

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Traditionally, Romans ensured personal security from peasants who were submissive with considerable power to engage in warfare. Hence, Europeans assumed this arrangement by escalating European noble power from the king’s land grants in return of the services provided by the military. This resulted to the development of Feudalism. Manorialism on the other hand refers to an important component of feudal community which entailed the principles used in organizing economy in the rural that was born in the medieval villa system .It was largely used in central and Western Europe and gradually replaced by market economies based on use of money including agrarian contracts. This was based on vesting of the lords with both economic and legal power with regard to their power of holding large pieces of land including their legal responsibility to hold and care for the peasant persons in their area of jurisdiction.

The obligation could be paid through different means such as cash money or in kind (Salisbury, Joyce & Sherman, Dennis 236). The manors were founded on Roman empires agricultural estates as well as the new land segmentations formed by founding medieval kings. For instance, they existed in Mediterranean areas such as Islamic and Byzantine. During Carolingian empire, manors in Western Europe formed a distinct structure of lords and serfs that were significant in medieval period.

Nearly all the manors comprised of homes belonging to the Lords in addition to exterior buildings like mills and barns as well as a minimum of one village in which peasant farmers lived and worked. Peasants depended wholly on crops tilled from the little spaces they owned. Serfs on the other hand tended their herds of cattle including the working horses, goats and sheep. They used large herds of animals for ploughing more so in the heavy northern Europe clay soils. Feudal and manors had some ties which resulted from the coming of war. During the 8th century Carolingian nobles started developing common contracts that held individuals jointly in relationships that were personal (Salisbury, Joyce & Sherman, Dennis 233). The structures were modified tying Germany tribes together. Modern West judges a community with regard to the freedom accorded to its citizens whilst in the middle societal order was based on connections as opposed to the extent of freedom.

Hence every person from the less fortunate to the lords was tied to some people either inferior or superior to them in mutual obligation contractual systems. Never the less, the responsibility failed to exhibit equality instead everyone had stipulated commitments to other person. Each individual in the society was supposed to adhere to a hierarchy of rules and regulations in that society (Salisbury, Joyce & Sherman Dennis 231). The hierarchy did not arise from rational planning but rather in gradually developed over many centuries .The chaos during this century perpetuated the development of the relationship between the manors and the feudal. The feudal and manor bonds were plastic since they were based on individuals, place and time. The relationship kept the society from shattering during the 19th century decentralization and invasions.

The invasions were expected to arise from each side for instance Saracens emanating from the northern part of Africa invading Mediterranean region thus bring disruption to commerce and sacking the Romans in 846. Another invasion would emanate from Magyars coming from Eastern Europe and pitching their tents in the valley of Danube in 895 invading Italy, Germany and France for fifty years. The invasions gave rise to a dark age full of barbaric and violent customs. For instance, Christianity was then pt to task to help convert Vikings in to a people that are civilized.

Works Cited

Brown, Elizabeth. “The tyranny of a Construct: Feudalism and Historians of Mediaval Europe.

” American History Review 79.1974 (1980): 1063-1068. Salisbury, Joyce & Sherman, Dennis. The West in the World.

London: Mcgraw-Hill Higher Street, 2004.


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