Feudalism


Feudalism
A term of tortuous elusiveness. Broadly, the word is used of the system of land-holding, administration and relations between vassal and lord in England after 1066. At its heart is the assumption that everyone had a lord, from the lowliest *servus to the king, who had the sternest and most powerful lord of all, God. This relationship had superseded the familial or kin relationship of the old Saxon world. However, before the Conquest there were clear duties owed to the king by *thegn and *ealdorman, and the importation of the system by the Normans as something wholly new is itself disputed. Feudalism was in effect a combination of two relationships: material and personal. The material is found in the kind of tenure the tenant had and in the way he paid for the land he held of his lord: with service - in the fields or militarily -until the late 14c, after which the incidence of monetary payment increased, i.e. after the *Black Death and concomitant labour shortages. So long as all dues were met the tenure was heritable. The personal relationship derived from the tenant's place in the social ladder and the kind of dependence or protection the lord could provide. The word is first recorded in 1635, long after the period it now relates to. [< OldFr. feu < Lat. feudum = heritable estate, heritable land.] -

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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  • Feudalism — Feudalism, a term first used in the early modern period (17th century), in its most classic sense refers to a Medieval Europe political system composed of a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving… …   Wikipedia

  • Feudalism — • The source of feudalism rises from an intermingling of barbarian usage and Roman law Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Feudalism     Feudalism      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • feudalism — FEUDALÍSM s.n. 1. Ansamblul raporturilor, întemeiate pe fidelitatea personală, dintre suzeran şi vasal. 2. Organizare social economică care, în concepţia materialist istorică, urmează după sclavagism şi precedă capitalismul şi în care baza… …   Dicționar Român

  • feudalism — n. A social, economic, and governmental system common in medieval Europe, under which nobles gave land to vassals who fought for them, and peasants farmed the land and gave much of their produce to their lords, who in return gave them protection …   Law dictionary

  • Feudalism — Feu dal*ism (f[=u] dal*[i^]z m), n. [Cf. F. f[ e]odalisme.] The feudal system; a system by which the holding of estates in land is made dependent upon an obligation to render military service to the king or feudal superior; feudal principles and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • feudalism — a coinage of historians, first attested 1839; see FEUDAL (Cf. feudal). Feudal system attested from 1776 …   Etymology dictionary

  • feudalism — ► NOUN ▪ the dominant social system in medieval Europe, in which the nobility held lands from the Crown in exchange for military service, and vassals were tenants of and protected by the nobles …   English terms dictionary

  • feudalism — [fyo͞od′ l iz΄əm] n. 1. the economic, political, and social system in medieval Europe, in which land, worked by serfs who were bound to it, was held by vassals in exchange for military and other services given to overlords 2. a society organized… …   English World dictionary

  • feudalism — feudalist, n. feudalistic, adj. /fyoohd l iz euhm/, n. the feudal system, or its principles and practices. [1830 40; FEUDAL1 + ISM] * * * Term that emerged in the 17th century that has been used to describe economic, legal, political, social, and …   Universalium

  • feudalism — Some historians have argued that feudalism is a technical term that can only be applied to Western European institutions of the Middle Ages. Others (including most sociologists) have conceptualized the phenomenon in a more abstract way, as a… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Feudalism —    Karl Marx identified feudalism as the mode of production coming between slavery and capitalism, characterized by the antagonistic class relationship between landlords and peasants, and by a low level of technology, essentially still at the… …   Historical dictionary of Marxism


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