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Feudalism - Medieval History Essay

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Medieval History Essay The feudal system was instated by William the Conqueror when he became the King of England, in 1066. Feudalism was a system of government and land ownership. This later also spread into monarchy. It was a land agreement between the king and his subjects. In this system the king claimed the entire kingdom as royal land. In the feudal system there was the King and three main classes, the tenants in chief, the tenants and the peasant class. In the feudal system the King was the most important society figure. The King owned all the land, but only kept some for himself. The rest was shared amongst his best and bravest soldiers, the barons, and the church. The King also promised protection and titles as well as strong leadership to these men, which made the barons very powerful. To stop them gathering an army and overthrowing the King, he gave them land, but only in small sections spread throughout the kingdom. ...read more.


Furthermore they still had to give gifts to the lord on special occasions. There were many advantages and disadvantages to each class in the feudal system. The advantages of being the King were that he had others to manage his land for him. He also had wealth and therefore power, especially in government. The disadvantages of being the king were that he had heavy responsibilities and if he did not watch out he could even become a puppet to the barons. He would also have a lot of enemies and so he would had to always watch his back for people trying to assassinate him. There were also advantages and disadvantages of being a tenant-in-chief. Advantages of being a tenant-in-chief were that they had some say in government and they also had wealth which equalled power. The disadvantages were that when their king summoned them to go to war they had to either fight, or pay someone else to do it for them. ...read more.


They also sometimes had to fight when there was a war on, but the peasants were usually kept back to look after the crops. In medieval times changing status was very hard, so people who were born in to the peasant class usually stayed there for their whole life. The feudal system carried on for along time. In the end it could not sustain because of a number of reasons. The first was that as time went along the use of money, instead of land or assets became more common. This made a fault in the feudal system because feudalism was based around land ownership and barter. The other reason for the down fall of the feudal system was that people in lower classes stoped respecting the hierarchy. They also realised that they out numbered the people in the higher classes. This was the reason for many peasant revolts in medieval England. ...read more.

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