To What Extent Did Feudalism Affect the Societies in the Middle Ages?

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To what extent did feudalism affect the societies in the Middle Ages?

Plan of Investigation The investigation assesses the significance of the feudal system in the middle ages. In order to evaluate the feudal system’s significance, the investigation evaluates each role of the social classes in a Middle Ages society. This includes the kings, nobles and lords, knights, and peasants and serfs. Articles and secondary sources are mostly used to evaluate the feudal system’s significance. Two of the sources used in this essay, Feudalism by Joseph R. Strayer and Social Classes: The Middle Ages by William Chester Jordan are then evaluated for their origins, purposes, and limitations.

The investigation does not assess feudalism in the Japan societies including Kamakura, Kemmu, Muromachi, Sengoku, and Azuchi-Momovama.

Summary of Evidence

Prior to the eleventh century, major distinctions between social classes did not exist in the western European societies, and in the later Middle Ages, clearer social classes developed. In the Middle ages, feudalism was the basis by which the upper nobility class maintained control over the lower classes, as a result of the collapse of the Roman Empire. It was an economic, and social system in which the king gave a portion of his land and protection to a peasant in return for the service on the manor. The system came about, for the most part, because during his reign of England, King William had two major hardships: he couldn't keep the people from rebelling and he couldn't take care of all the land. This social structure became known as the feudal system. In most of medieval Europe, society was dependent on the feudal system. It typically consisted of kings, lords, peasants, and others who held influence in the kingdom. The king claimed ownership of the land, and provided fiefs (land) to nobles, called lords, in exchange for loyalty to the King. Lords lived on a manor and controlled a large amount of land. They provided income



Bibliography: “Feudalism.” Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Ed. Joseph R Strayer. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1989. Gale World History In Context. Web. 6 Dec. 2010. "Middle Ages." Feudalism. 2 Jan. 2011. . “Social Classes” The Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia for Students. Ed. William Chester Jordan. Vol. 4. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1996. 83-86. Gale World History In Context. Web. 2 Dec. 2010. "The Feudal Structure of the Medieval World ." Think-quest. 2 Jan. 2011. 1997 . "World History." Middle Ages . 2 Jan. 2011. 2007 .

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