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Feudalism, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 304

Essay

Feudalism was a structured society in which lords owned large pieces of land and allowed servants to live on it in exchange for cultivating the land and providing the lord with a part of the profit. History has demonstrated that feudalism typically arises when an empire loses its power, which causes wealthy land owners to rule their territory with absolute power. Because this land is divided and ruled by many different families, there were no laws that unified the land and lords were generally free to make laws as they pleased. As such, feudalism would cease to exist if one family were able to gain power over the others and unite the land.

The land grant that lords provided their servants were called fiefs, and this land was provided in exchange for service. After the agreement was made between the lord and the servant for land, the servant is called a vassal. At this point, the vassal would agree to pay the lord homage and to engage in battle on the lord’s behalf if this is deemed necessary. Many instances of feudalism have existed throughout history, although during different time periods. Feudalism in Western Europe ceased to exist towards the end of the Middle Ages in the 1500s, while feudal Japan ended in the 1600s. Both of these events were marked by widespread unification that led to the predecessors of the territories that we are familiar with today.

Interestingly, it does not appear that feudalism exists in the world today. While there are some smaller ruling provinces in the world, these rulers are often elected in some manner. In countries in which rulers are not democratically elected, the land is unified. Therefore, it is unlikely that feudalism will come again but this system of government was certainly an important mark in the history of the world.

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