The Feudal Age

Topics: Feudalism, Roman Empire, Europe Pages: 2 (762 words) Published: March 3, 2013
There is one concept that has consistently shown up throughout history: use any means to achieve your ends, a concept that has come through many different forms, one of which being the advent of feudalism in the post classical age, specifically in Japan and Western Europe. Unlike in Japan, feudalism rose in Europe as a response to the political fragmentation and invasions following the fall of the Roman Empire; for the Europeans it was necessary for survival. Feudalism, a system based upon a mutually beneficial relationship between a lord and a vassal (or a daimyo and a samurai, as they were called in the Japanese system) in which land and protection is given in exchange for labor and loyalty, was a long-standing political and economic system that survived for many years in many regions of the world. Although the Japanese and European systems were both feudalistic and were similar in some aspects, they differed socially through the social standing of women and peasants, politically through the wars that the regions were or were not engaged in, and religiously through the role that religion played in the government. Though both systems were similar to a certain extent, social roles and gender status were not one in the same in Europe and Japan. If the Europeans and Japanese were similar in any aspect, it was in the way their feudal societies worked. Both Japan and Western Europe followed a set of standards that were set by the very definition of feudalism, but when it came to the social consequences of their systems, their similarities began to dissipate. As the definition of feudalism states, both Japan and Western Europe had a mutually beneficial system that involved two people: a lord (or daimyo) and a vassal (or samurai). In this mutualistic society, the nobility traded land) called fief and shugo in Europe and Japan respectively) and protection in exchange for loyalty and military service. From that point the societies go in different directions...
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