Western European Feudal System

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The Feudal System
Many historians consider the feudal system to be one of the most influential things in European history. That being said, it is very over looked today and many people are unaware of what the feudal system meant to European history. The feudal system is the popular structure of political society in western and central Europe from 900 to 1300 (“HowStuffWorks ‘Feudalism’.”). Feudalism was an effective system used in which there were personal agreements between individuals who possessed power, land, and dividing of social classes.
The first reason feudalism was an effective system was because of some of the personal agreements that were made. Some historians have said, “Feudal government depended on personal agreements between
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Land was mostly owned by nobility and used for agriculture ("Social Structure & Social Stratification). Related to land are fiefs which are, “a piece of land, jurisdiction over the peasants who lived on the land, and ownership of the goods they produced” (“HowStuffWorks ‘Feudalism’.”). Fiefs are considered by most to be a vital part of feudalism because of the concept of an inheritable piece of land given to vassals who tended to the land in exchange for loyalty to the certain lord who owned the land. Land, or fiefs, had a great impact on feudal …show more content…
Lords were to supply the fief for his vassal, to look after him, and to do him justice in his court (“Feudal System, An Overview of Feudalism.”). The vassal was to return to the lord services attached to the fief, at the order of the lord, and the lord also has had a right to an assortment of payments known as feudal incidents (“Feudal System, An Overview of Feudalism.”). Some examples of these feudal incidents would be assistance, a toll paid when a fief was transferred to a successor or separated by the vassal, and a tax paid in order to avoid being forced to serve in the military (“Feudal System, An Overview of Feudalism.”). The role that the knights played was to tend to the land, which they were left in control of, and also the peasants or townsfolk who lived there (“Regents Prep Global History Political Systems: Feudalism”). The role of the peasants was, “to grow the food, tend the land, and provide military support to the feudal lords” (“Regents Prep Global History Political Systems: Feudalism”). Each level of the social pyramid created by the feudal system had a crucial role to the