Peasants in the Early Medieval Europe

Topics: Middle Ages, Feudalism, Serfdom Pages: 3 (1248 words) Published: September 27, 2011
For safety and for defense, people in the Middle Ages formed small communities around a central lord or master. The majority lived on a manor, which consisted of the castle, the church, the village, and the surrounding farmland. These manors were isolated, with occasional visits from peddlers, pilgrims on their way to the Crusades, or soldiers from other territories. In this "feudal" system, the lowest rank of society was the peasants, also called "serfs" or "villeins." In exchange for living and working on the king’s land (demesne), the lord offered his peasants protection. The land that they received from the king was called a fief. Working on the fiefs were the peasants and serfs. The Peasants were free but not the serfs. The serfs were much like slaves. The only way other, then running away, was paying to be free which rarely could the serfs do because they haven’t enough money. The people not included as part of the government were the people of Religion. Simply, peasants and serfs were never fortunate in the society governed by feudalism. In the Middle Ages, peasants and serfs were treated basically the same and as it turns out, peasants are on my category. As things go on, many peasants haven’t had the best homes and shelters like the kings and queens. Peasants lived on farms or in a small town. A peasant’s average house was a cottage that had mud plaster, branches of straw, stone, and wood; it only had about two rooms. During the winter, the families shared their houses with their animals so they wouldn't be cold or get sick and die. The only lighting that they had was candles that were made from tallow, and I bet that didn't smell too good either. Most homes peasants owned, especially the inferior ones were cold, damp, and dark. Sometimes it was warmer and lighter outside the home than it was within. For security, windows were closed at night or in bad weather, they were fairly small in size and had small openings with wooden shutters. The small size of...
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