Feudal Society

Essential Question:  Why did Feudalism develop and who benefited from it?

Feudal Contract

Under the feudal contract, the lord had the duty to provide the fief for his vassal, to protect him, and to do him justice in his court. In return, the lord had the right to demand the services attached to the fief (military, judicial, administrative) and a right to various "incomes" known as feudal incidents. Examples of incidents are relief, a tax paid when a fief was transferred to an heir or alienated by the vassal, and scutage(money paid by a vassal to his lord in lieu of military service), a tax paid in spite of military service.

Feudal System Social Hierarchy(Roles)


Manorialism was an economic and sociological system in which the majority of the people, serfs who farmed, lived on a manor, a large estate owned by a lord. It might be said that the manorial system was defined by the relationship the serfs had to their lords, and more particularly, to the land they lived on.

*Critical Thinking Question: Why are the vassals so high up in royalty?


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