Life on a Manor

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Katie O'Gara4/11/11
Global 9Period 8

Life on a Manor
A manor is a self-sufficient area of land owned by one called a lord. On this land, many slave-like people (who weren't considered slaves because they were not bought or sold) known as serfs dwell in small huts. Merchants lived on the manor as well and worked in shops as things like a blacksmith, a baker or a craftsmen. The manor consisted of the homes of the serfs and the merchants, a church, the lord's castle where he and his servants lived and the farmland the serfs worked on. This way of life became known as feudalism, an exchange between the people and the lord that dealt with protection from invaders for loyalty to the lord.

Feudalism came about when the period known as The Dark Ages began. Life was a struggle in Europe at this time. The Byzantine Empire suffered from numerous invasions and warfare from the Northern Vikings. Charlemagne brings the end of this feud. He encourages the people to convert to Christianity which is part of the reason why the church was such an important part of everyone's lives. He also sets up schools and libraries were scholars copied down ancient texts.

Serfs worked day and night farming. Whether it was crops for the church, for themselves, or for the lord himself, the serfs were never not working. The serfs were the lowest class of people in the social pyramid inside a manor. The serfs had to give a percentage of their crops to the church. This was known as a tithe. Using the three fields system, a system where two fields were seeded and one was fallow to allow soil to regain nutrients and grow more & better food. Approximately fifteen to thirty families lived on a manor protected by the lord.

The Roman Catholic Church was the center of everyone's life on a manor. It was run by the Pope. A priest was the head of their own parish. After a daily mass, they would care for the sick and the poor, collect tithes from the serfs, and would...
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