Feudalism (Short Description)

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Feudalism
At its very base, feudal system was a bond in which people are linked in chain of the mutual obligations to each other. The forms and conditions of the bond were always different regarding time and place, but the object of the bond in feudalism was always the same – exchange land for military service. The first usage of land-military service exchange, which became a foundation for feudalism, was made by Charles Martel (Frankish military and political leader, who defeated Muslims at the Battle of Tours; Charlemagne’s grandfather) in the 8th century. He was the first who came up with an idea to give away land (what he had in abundance) for exchange to his followers for their military service, instead of trying to raise money for the army support. During feudalism, flourishing of communities called manors took place. Manors were usually consisted from lord’s home with barns, mills, churches, and villages for peasants with pastures, and woodlands. Everything was under lord’s security and control. Although in manor everybody was connected in ties of obligations from the lowest title (peasants) to the highest (lord, king), and everyone had explicit commitments to someone else, not everybody had equal obligations. Lord was the superior title in the manor (the only person above the lord was king). The lowest title was peasant, also known as serf. Serfs had obligations to everyone above them, but didn’t have anybody under them. They were semi-free, meaning that they weren’t slaves, but were bounded to the land. In other words, when somebody received that land, he also gained services from the serfs who worked in that land. Serfs’ obligations could be divided on goods and labor. For example they had to give to lord some percentage of goods that they made or received, like milk, eggs, cheese, crops, grain (some kind of taxes). As for labor, peasants had to work…...

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