Feudal Society

Brissa Nino, Briana Bohn

How is order maintained in a period of chaos?

After the fall of the Roman empire, the feudal society emerged. Its purpose being to maintain order in western Europe.

The role of the King was to award land grants or fiefs to his most important nobles, his barons and his bishops in return for their contribution as soldiers in his army. The people given the land were known as vassals. In exchange for living and working on their land, lords would offer protection to poor people. Those people were called serfs.

What was the impact of the Serfs on the Lords in the Feudal Society?

Lords would offer protection to the poorest people (serfs) in exchange for living and working on their land/manor.  They would work in mills, workshops, the house and any place the lord needed work to be done.  At one point, the need for serfs became so high that if the serfs didn't like their life at one lord's manor, they would run away and instantly be rehired by another lord.  

The Feudal Contracts were a contract that the lord made, spelling out the roles and duties that the serfs and villeins had to follow in the manor. Manors consisted of the lords house, cottages for his tenants, a church, mill, workshops, woodlands, fields and pastors.

Manorialism was another system made for organizing the estates, it made feudalism possible. It was one of the most convenient device in creating order in Western Europe.

Example of a Feudal Contract:

John of Cayworth [villein] holds from his lord one house and thirty acres of land. For his right to this land, he must pay the lord two shillings a year at Easter and Michaelmas. At Christmas he must give the lord one cock and two hens worth four shillings.

He must harrow [cultivate] the lord's land for two days during Lent at sowing time with his own horse and harrow. He receives from the lord each day that he harrows three meals.
He must carry the manure of the lord's animals for two days using his own two oxen. He receives from the lord three meals each day that he carries the manure.
He must carry wood from the lord's forest to the manor house for two days in summer. He receives from the lord three meals each day that he carries wood.
John of Cayworth may not allow his daughters to marry without the consent of the lord or the lord's bailiff. Neither may he permit his sons to enter the clergy without the lord's consent. He may not cut the timber growing on his land without the consent of his lord or the bailiff, and then only for the purpose of building.
After his death, his survivors will pay to the lord the best animal that he had, unless he has no living beast, and then the lord will receive no payment.

And if his sons or daughters wish to continue holding his house and thirty acres after his death, they must make a payment to the lord equal to the entire rent for one year, and continue paying the rent as set down in this contract.

Feudal Society ended during the Renaissance.


How is order maintained in a period of chaos?

Use the information from this presentation to determine how order is maintained in a period of chaos.

"Medieval Life - Feudalism." Medieval Life. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <http://www.historyonthenet.com/medieval_life/feudalism.htm>.

"Feudalism in Europe." YouTube. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7LtbFQEXRBU>.

"Reading--Feudal Contract." Reading--Feudal Contract. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <http://www.historyteacher.net/GlobalHistory-1/Readings/FeudalContract.htm>.

"Tackk - Pages for Everything." Tackk - Pages for Everything. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <https://tackk.com/?m=profile/edit>.


"Feudalism Overview." ShowMe. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

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