The Feudal System- Kayla Glewis 8A

What is the feudal system?

The feudal system was a way of government based between the lord or king and vassal. One promised loyalty and service in exchange for that person’s protection. This process was repeated over all of the social classes. Powerful lords gave fiefs to men who promised to them for the rest of their life. The men that had swear this oath became the lord’s vassals. A ceremony usually marked this contract. The ceremony include the vassal performed an act of homage by kneeling in front of the lord’s hand. He swore the oath of fearlessly promising to serve for the rest of his life. Then the lord kissed the vassal and lifted him to his feet. There were only a few nobles. Most people, about nine-tenths, of the population were serfs who worked the land for a noble. The serf was bound to the land. If the noble sold the land the serf went with it. This was just as bad as being a slave.  About half the serfs time was spent working for the lord. Jobs included working in the fields, cutting wood, hauling water, spinning and weaving, repairing buildings, and waiting on the members of the lord’s family. Peasant men were even expected to fight in times of war.

1st estate: The church (pope)

2nd estate: The Royal Family (King, Queen, Prince, Princess, etc.), The Noblemen and Knights

3rd estate: Merchants and Peasants

When the feudal system was introduced to England and how did that change the governance of the country.

The feudal system was introduced by William the conquer (when he conquer England.)By winning this battle (the battle of Hastings) he owned more land. With the extra land William was able to exchange the land for millarty uses and for the church uses. It changed the governance of the country because the first thing William did when he became king was to take away 80% of the land he ruled to noble, lords and bishops, in return of their personal services and loyalty. The feudal system divvied all of the social classes.

What did the peasants do with their services on the lord’s property?

Most of the peasants jobs were, working out on the lord’s fields harvesting, planting and cutting crops, ploughing, cutting wood. Mainly men would be found working on the farm doing the hard labour. Women however were married by the time they were 14. They belonged to the menfolk. They cooked, weaved, washed, cleaned and tend to animals and children.  As well as farming some of the serfs worked also as blacksmiths and carpenters. Some of blacksmiths jobs might include help mend bent metal, build houses and mil crops. Carpenters jobs include repair wooden objects, build buildings and carts.

Why were peasants consider very low in society?

Life on a manor was extremely hard for a peasant. It consisted of work and family life. Approximately ninety per cent of the people in the middle ages were considered to be peasants. There was a division of the peasants into free servants. The free peasants worked in their own independent businesses, usually as carpenters, blacksmiths, weavers, or bakers. They paid the lord a type of rent for using their small plots of land. The other, unfree peasants lived on the land without paying any money, but worked for the lord, earning their stay. They were considered low because they had very little money. Being rich and having power was everything in the middle ages and if you didn’t persest any of those things then you were considered nothing.


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   the feudal system

Description : a work farm on the lords land.

Shows crops growing and a wooden house.

Feudal System – By Prisca Ong

Why was the feudal system introduced and how was it introduced?

This photo is an overview on how the citizens of the middle ages lived.

On the eighth century, known as the Fall of The Roman Empire or Dark Ages, a man by the name of Charmelagne (also known as ‘Charles the Great’) introduced the feudal system. Before the fall the Roman Empire the countries such as France was run by the Roman Empire. They had built magnificent buildings, constructed fine roads, aqueducts for transporting water (like a bridge like structure), and collecting taxes and had great armies to protect the citizens. However Viking and Barbarians started invading the countries and the Roman Empire collapsed with no proper law and order. The whole Europe was in chaos. At this certain time of the fall of the Roman Empire, many citizens started to worry and just wanted to survive.  The Feudal System came in to replace the previous central Roman government. The Feudal System had four parts and everyone knew their places; The Monarch, Tenants-in-chief (lords and bishops) , Sub-Tenants (knights and lesser clergy) and Peasants (Free serfs and were bound to the lord forever).

The system worked with The Monarch giving a fief to men who promised to serve them for the rest of his life making them come as the lord’s vassals or tenants.  Fief is a gift to the vassals and they are usually land. This kept the law and order straight for a couple of years but they still have other worries on their minds like meeting their tax obligations.

This section of the diorama is where the bishops worshipped and praised God.

It was not only introduced to the France by the Normans but also to England. William the Conqueror brought in the feudal system, in 1066 when he defeated the King of England, Harold Godwinson. He used this by giving 80 percent of the land he ruled to the bishops and nobles in return for their loyalty.

Why and how was the Feudal System die out?

The knight from the monarch has sent him to grant the nobleman his land for in return for his loyalty.

The basic principle of the feudal system is that a loyalty and services to the lord in exchange for a fief. As the years went by the feudal system began to break down as the barbarians’ attacks stopped, food stocks were satisfying and the citizens paid the lords money for rights and privilege instead of doing personal services. Another reason why the feudal system died out is because is people started moving away from the manors or lords to new towns which were built. This is how the Feudal System died out.  In addition it was not only the attacks, food, rights and privilege but also a disease called the black death that came from China to Europe from trading  post making many of the citizens such as nobles and monarchs catching the black death. This was the opportunity for the peasants and serfs to move away from their land into another town leaving crops to die and animals wandering around. But some nobles and monarchs paid the peasants to stay and look after land or more rights and privileges. This is some of the reasons why the feudal system died out.

What is the difference and stimulatives between Japan and the European  Feudal System?

The Feudalism in Japan has four parts the emperor/ shoguns, daimyo, samurai and peasants however the Feudal System also has four parts; the monarch, tenants-in-chief, sub- tenants and peasants. The similarities shown in both the Japanese and European Feudal System is that they both had constant wars. Another similarity is that the guards and protection is very similar and that is that the Samurai and the Knights both play the same role. The Knights’ similarities with the Samurai is that they both used similar weapons such as swords, wore armour and rode horses. Last but not least, another similarity is that the daimyo and the monarch lived in castles, however Japanese castles were built from wood.

There are also many differences between the Japanese and European Feudal System.

One of the reasons is Japanese daimyo and samurai protect the elders and peasants  in return they had to pay taxes. On the other hand, Europeans would give land for in return for their loyalty to control the people.

Another difference is that the samurai allows both genders to fight. However the girl samurai is suppose to be strong as a samurai man. This is shown by doing a face death, when they fight one on one without flinching. The European knights is based on one gender and that is man but the European girls are considered like fragile flower that the knights had to protect.

A royal person is knighting a squire to a knight with other knights watching the ceremony.

Last but not least, another difference is that to be a samurai you must be born in the class of samurai to be one. On the other hand, knights had to go through being a page then a squire to finally being knight which a royal person who knighted the person who had achieve these stages.

Why were there no alternatives when the Feudal System was in placed?

The reasons why the Feudal System had no alternatives is because Firstly the Monarch and the nobles liked the way it was because they had many privileges and rights. For example they had was they were able to eat glorious food such as meat which was hard to get unlike the peasants who only had a small amount of meat. Another privilege is that they didn’t have to work hard like doing farming but they also received money from the crops they had. Therefore the Monarchs and nobles didn’t want to have another system because they were satisfied with the system. On the other hand, the peasants couldn’t make any alternatives because they were considered ‘the lowest class.’ They had no power to stand up and make a difference so the peasants dealt with it until they slowly discovered their rights and ownership by becoming merchants and traders.

Will the Feudal System survive in today’s world?

The Feudal System wouldn’t survive in today‘s world because the people today is so used to having a say in the government by voting. For example if the people didn’t like the government they would vote the government off. Another reason is that if the people today have a problem they can speak to the elected representatives of their constituencies to make a change. Unlike the European Feudal System where they do not have a say in what is happening even the lowest class or talk to the elected representatives about their problems. The citizens in Europe had to deal with it. There are many reasons why the Feudal System wouldn’t survive in today’s world but here are a couple of reason why it wouldn’t.


Bedson C, Dunne J, Lynch V, (Published 2010)

Everyday Life: The Middle Ages (Published 2006)

Unknown Author,

First answer by Teo Nilsson Dahl, edited by Roy R,