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Western and Islamic World Medieval Europe

500 CE to 1500 CE
1) Feudalism
The Feudal System was a form of government that was used during the
medieval times. The whole system was strict and was based on the
social status of everybody. In short the King who is the supreme ruler
had the divine right to rule the land, followed by the barons and knights
who enforced the kings influence and lastly the peasants who were
seen as the lower class and did not have any rights. Generally, it was
depicted as a favour system, in which the kings by divine right granted
land to the barons to govern, who gave knights as military service and
money to the king, then for the military service the knights received
some land form the barons for personal use and then the knights would
a bit of land to the villeins who in return gave free labour, food and
service. Fractures in the Feudal System began to show after the Black
Death and the Peasant Revel, where villieins started to revolt against
their treatment and way of life.

2)

Kin
g

Barons

Knights

Peasants(Serf/Villeins)

3)
King
The Kings role in the feudal system was that he was in complete control.
Signifying himself as owning all the land within the country and being the
ruler of it. He often granted land to Barons he trusted, for them to lease
or look after for him. Before receiving the land, the Barons must swear
an oath or alliance to the king, to be true to him at all times.
Baron
A Baron was a wealthy person in medieval times. They were often given
land form the king to lease and were allowed control of the land that was
given to them. They would take as much of the land they liked and
divided the rest amongst the knights. Also they formed their own
currency, taxes and laws within their individual land. For the land granted
to them the barons had to serve on the royal court, provide knights,
lodging and food when the Kings and his court when they travelled
around the country and pay rent.
Knights
Knights in medieval times, were part of the military. Their purpose was to
provide military service to king when he demanded. As well protecting
the king and barons family when under attack, also defending the
manor. In return for their service they were rewarded some land for
personal use, from the barons. Knights kept much of the land they and
rest were given to villeins.
Villeins
Villeins or peasants were seen as the lower class. They had no rights or
commanded over how their lives were dictated. Villeins received a snall
portion of land form knights and for that they had to supply the knight
with free labour, food and service. In addition they were also poor and
earned low income.
4) The medieval way of life is different from ours. Feudalism once ruled
all over the middle ages. It is a form of government from the top with the
king the supreme ruler to the villeins (or peasants) the poor lower class.
Some say it was horrible while others argue it was fine. My opinion was
that form of government was unfair and did not represent the people
properly.

Firstly, you are born into the class you are and cannot go anywhere. The
main problem with the feudal system is that no one can go above or
below their rank. If you were born a villein you stay a villein for the rest of
your life. It goes for the same as barons and knights. The reason being it
was a system of sworn alliance, meaning that it was required that every
class swore allegiance to their respective ruler and no matter how hard
you work you will be still in the same class.
To add it the system didnt exactly represent people in a fair way. Villieins
the lower class of medieval society were poor and had no rights. They
were seen as slaves and had very low income. Often they had to work
longer and harder to look after their small land, feed their families, have
shelter and grow crops. In short their lives were unfair and miserable.
Furthermore, the king had absolute power. If the king was bad, he could
get away with his misdeeds and misuse his power. There have kings
who are like this but, a good example would be King John of England.
He started raising taxes without the nobles consent (which was against
the law) to pay for expensive forging wars. The barons grew tired of this
and captured him and made sign a document called the manga carta. It
stated a bunch of rights he had to agree on. It also showed a significant
sign that feudalism was failing.
Lastly, to maintain order harsh punishments were implicated for crimes
committed. The aim was to make people scared of the punishment so
they would not commit a crime. So fear was the motivator. Sometimes
the laws werent enforced fairly, but rather with violence.
In conclusion, feudalism was a bad form of government. Without doubt it
was unfair, harsh, exclusive, violent and unjustified.