By Elena Wu


This is the diorama that i made that represented how Manorialism started and ended. The image furthest on the left is the whole diorama. The upper right picture is the “fall of the roman empire” side, where it shows some people scared in their houses. Outside are vikings or other tribes that attack them and they are very nervous. (this was how feudalism got introduced) The lower right picture is the picture showing how manorialism ended, showing how the black death loosened it up. There is a doctor, along with a nun, and a patient that has the Black Plague.

The Manor 

Manorialism was a very important factor of the middle ages. It organised the Roman empire when it fell and also was practiced widely in medieval Europe. Manorialism and Feudalism had a dramatic effect on Europe during the middle ages. Everybody knew their places with the help of feudalism.

What was Manorialism?

Manorialism is the system where a lord of the manor would make the serfs or tenants work on his estate, or fief. The middle ages system of manorialism was the organisation of a country economy and society. Peasants had rights to use the land and domain in order to live. They were also allowed to take wood for fuel and living purposes.

How did Manorialism start?

After the fall of the Roman Empire, there were barbarian attacks and viking invasions. This made everyone feel very unsafe. Because of this, Charlemagne, a frank king, introduced feudalism. This meant, that the richer families gave up their land, for the poor farmers and families, for them to work on. The harvest had to be shared with the “lord” of the manor. The “lord” of the manor was the person who gave his land to another family. In return for having the peasants work for the lord, the lord would grant them protection and economic services.  This arrangement developed into the manorial system. Another time, when feudalism was introduced, was after William the Conqueror won the battle of the Hastings. He entered England as the new king, and introduced feudalism.

How did Manorialism end?

The Black Death was a pandemic disease that spread throughout China and parts of medieval Europe. Everyone 1 in 3 people died in the black death, and no doctor knew how to cure this sickness. In the middle ages, nobody knew about hygiene, and everyone just did what they thought was right. They threw rubbish out of their windows, not knowing that its bacteria may spread throughout the street, and just waited for the rain to wash the garbage away. Because of the black death, funeral prices increased, along with the prices of other goods. Other than this, the lords of the manor started to realise how important the peasants were, and started hiring them with large amounts of benefits. The peasants also noticed how important they were, so they wanted higher economic benefits in order to help the lords of the manor. They moved out of infected towns, in order to flee from the disease. The peasants became so important, and this made the feudalism structure crumble, leaving the nobles needing to work for their own food.And that, is how feudalism and Manorialism ended.

How is Manorialism different to feudalism?

Feudalism and Manorialism are two systems of thought that showed a difference between them in terms of concept and understanding. Manorial systems concentrated on the organisation of agricultural and craft production. On the other hand, feudalism was the legal relationship between the lord and the vassal. 
Another significant difference between feudalism and manorialism is that manorialism is economic in character, whereas feudalism is legal in character. 
On the other hand, feudalism supports legal, cultural and political ramifications at the highest levels while dealing with the relationship between the Lord and Vassal. Another way of pointing out the main difference between feudalism and manorialism is that feudalism is political system, whereas manorialism is an economic system.

The feudal pyramid

In the Feudal Pyramid above, we could see that in the medieval society, Christianity was looked upon very much. So, the 1st estate of the feudal society was the Pope/Church. The 2nd estate was the fighting group, including the kings, the nobles, and the knights and the vassals. The 3rd estate would be the working group. This included the peasants. This estate made up 90% of the pyramid.. Serfs were outside the pyramid, and were considered objects that thee lords would sell or use.

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