Feudalism

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Feudalism and the Manorial System
Feudalism and the Manorial System
History Time Travel Agency
March 21, 2011

Feudalism & the Manorial System

History Time Travel Agency
March 21, 2011

Feudalism & the Manorial System

Feudalism
Feudalism was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labor.
The SystemWithin the feudal system a powerful noble granted land to a lesser noble. Actual ownership of the land remained with the noble who made the grant. The noble who received the land was entitled to use the land and its products, but could not “own” the land. The person who granted land was a lord and the grand of land was called a fief. The person who received the fief was a vassal.
Eventually thefief became hereditary; by about 1100 it had become customary for the eldest son of a lord or a vassal to inherit ownership or possession of the land. This system of father to eldest son is called primogeniture. Women’s rights regarding legal property were limited. A woman might have had fiefs in her dowry. However when she married, her husband gained control over her dowry. In most cases a womanregained control of the property in her dowry if her husband died.
Wars
In medieval times wars had different effects on society. For nobles wars were an opportunity for glory and wealth. For most people of the middle ages, however, war was a major cause of suffering and hardship.

Feudal Justice
Feudal justice differed greatly from roman justice. A feudal trial was decided in one of three ways:trial by battle; compurgation or oath taking; and trial by ordeal. A trial could be a duel between accuser and accused or their representatives in which the outcome determined innocence or guilt. In compurgation, the accuser and the accused were supported by people who swore that the person they represented was telling the truth. The oath takers were probably similar to character witnesses intoday’s trials. The outcome of a trial by ordeal was determined by how the accused survived a particular ordeal. The 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 the accused person’s wounds healed quickly and well, he was innocent; if not, he was guilty.
Structure of Feudalism

The Manorial System
Feudalismprovided social and political structure to the culture of middle ages. Similarly, manorialism shaped the economy of much of Europe during these years. The system took its name from the manors of the middle ages. Manors were large farming states that include manors houses, cultivated lands, woodlands, pastures, fields, and villages.
Central authority and organized trade were almost nonexistentduring the middle ages. Thus people who lived on manors needed to be self-sufficient. They sought to produce everything they needed, including food, clothing, and shelter. Some items, however, such as iron, salt, wool, wine and certain manufactured goods, were purchased.
A lord and several peasant families shared the land of the manor. Generally the lord kept about one third of the manor’s lands,called the domain, for himself. The manor’s peasants farmed the remaining two-thirds of the land for themselves. In return for being able to work the land, the peasants gave the lord, some of their crops and helped to farm his land. The peasants also provided other services on the manor and paid many kinds of taxes.
Ideally a manor village was located along a stream or river, which providedwaterpower for the village mill. For safety a small group of houses were clustered near the manor house or castle. The land surrounding the manor house included the village, vegetable plots, cultivated fields, pastures and forest. Cultivated land was often divided into three large fields for growing grain. Only two of the three fields were planted at one time. The third field could lie fallow, or...
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