What was Feudalism in Medieval Europe?

Video

Kelly Macquire
by
published on 10 April 2022

Feudalism was a system of social society present during the high middle ages in Europe between the tenth and thirteenth centuries. Feudalism can be understood as a hierarchical society where the king owned most of the land, he would distribute it out to lords, who would then lease the units of land to the peasants and serfs. The units of distributed land are known as fiefs, the king would give fiefs to the nobles, and those who received them were known as the vassals. The serfs and peasants were tied to the land they leased, and in return for the land and protection given to them by the lord, they would give regular payment of produce. This social hierarchy is often displayed as a pyramid, with the king at the top, then the lords, knights and peasants and serfs at the bottom.

Eventually, by the 13th century with the rising popularity of coinage, money was paid by the lords to their sovereign instead of offering military service (which worked out fine since the monarch could use the money to pay for mercenaries instead). Money was distributed by the monarch instead of land, and both a rich merchant class grew and serfs were able to buy their freedom. All of these factors working together gradually weakened the mediaeval system of feudalism built on land ownership and reciprocated loyalty.

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— CHAPTERS —
0:00​ Introduction
0:54 Introduction to Feudalism
1:46 The Feudal Pyramid
4:35 Consequences and Effects of Feudalism
5:43 The Decline of European Feudalism
7:40 Outro

— WANT TO KNOW MORE? —
Feudalism https://www.worldhistory.org/Feudalism/
Manorialism https://www.worldhistory.org/Manorialism/
Domesday Book https://www.worldhistory.org/Domesday_Book/
Serf https://www.worldhistory.org/Serf/
Effects of the Black Death on Europe https://www.worldhistory.org/article/1543/effects-of-the-black-death-on-europe/
William the Conqueror https://www.worldhistory.org/William_the_Conqueror/

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— ATTRIBUTIONS —
You can find all attribution and credits for images, animations, graphics and music here - https://worldhistory.typehut.com/what-was-feudalism-in-medieval-europe-images-and-attributions-9044

— MUSIC USED —
Journey by Carriage
Greg Joy (SOCAN)
https://download.audiohero.com/#!details?id=23208367

— THUMBNAIL IMAGE —
Feudalism Pyramid
Simeon Netchev
CC BY NC SA 4.0 - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/deed.en

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Reeve_and_Serfs.jpg
anonymous (Queen Mary Master) / User: Il Dottore
Public Domain US / faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2022, April 10). What was Feudalism in Medieval Europe?. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2765/what-was-feudalism-in-medieval-europe/

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "What was Feudalism in Medieval Europe?." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified April 10, 2022. https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2765/what-was-feudalism-in-medieval-europe/.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "What was Feudalism in Medieval Europe?." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 10 Apr 2022. Web. 23 May 2022.

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