The System of Feudalism During Medieval Times

During much of the early Medieval period, foreign invasions were very common. Kings began to lose their power because they could no longer protect their people from the vikings who destroyed everything in their path.

This led to many economical and social problems which were firstly addressed in Normandy when the first settlers arrived during the X century. Their fear was enormous and so was their courage for they devised a way to effectively diminish Vikings and other invaders which seemed to be possessing most of Europe. This received the name of "Feudalism" in which the king appointed a lord to take care of his land. The lord then appointed many knights or nobles to possess the land he firstly acquired from his king by distributing it equally among them. They in turn used serfs to work the land. This is all better illustrated in the following picture:

Medieval Feudalism

As it can be noted, it was kings who received most of the pay whilst the Serfs (bottom) worked almost all day long and were subject to heavy taxes which were later deposited in the royal treasury.

Serfs were very numerous and constituted a strong percentage of the medieval population. Knightswere much more rare to find and lords were much more important and far between. Of course there was only one king who was supreme in the feudalism.

Feudalism began to decline after the XIII century when foreign invasions were not as frequent and economy began to change. Merchants became much more important and most lords who would previously work land, began to trade goods which rendered feudalism obsolete. Nevertheless, this didn't occur completely in England until the midst of the XVI century and in France it lasted until the late XVIII century.

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