king_william.jpgFeudal System by: Aung Thant What is the Feudal System?

The feudal system was a way of government based on obligations between the lord or king and vassals. This system started when King William couldn’t control too much land and stop people against rebelling so he started giving strips of lands to barons. The barons became vassals. The vassals gave land to knights (the vassal’s vassals) then the knights gave land to their vassals. All the land that was given still belonged to the King. The King expected all the knights and vassals to fight for him.

What are the different classes?feudal_pyramid.jpg

On the top there is the king. A bit lower than the king are the religious leaders or the popes and rabbis. Barons are under the religious leaders. Barons were like nobles. They became the king’s vassal when they were given land. Under the barons are the knights. The lowest class was peasants, farmers and serfs.

How did the people get in their classes?

If the King can’t control the land he gives some of his land to trustworthy barons. The barons have to bow near the king’s throne, take his hand and promise a fealty. A fealty was a promise by a baron to the king. He would kneel before the king and promise to protect the land. This ceremony was called the commendation ceremony. The baron promises to help the king whenever he needed to and had to take care of the land. The baron is called a lord when he gives a little land to his knights. The knights became his vassals. The vassals will take care and protect serfs and peasants from invaders. In return, the peasants and serfs had to farm the land. The knights also become the king’s knights. In return for the land the knights fought for forty days a year. Part of the money that the vassals and the lords get, the king also gets.

Could thserfs.jpgey move higher?

Peasants and Serfs didn’t move higher. They could only have freedom in certain ways. First you could work out of it. Second of all you could run and not come back home for one year and one day. Knights could eventually move higher into the barons’ class. Barons didn’t move higher. The king couldn't move higher.

Fiefs, Lords and Vassals imagesCAKVG0LF.jpg

First a fief is a piece of land the lords gave to the vassals. The vassals will have to obey the lord at all times. The vassals gave the knights smaller pieces of the fiefs called manors. The knights will have to fight for forty days a year. Peasants and serfs work in the manors. In return the peasants and serfs get protection from any invaders.

Here are some of the resources on The Feudal System.
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