Essay Sample on Feudalism and Manorialism in Medieval Europe: Vassalage System

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Pages:  3
Wordcount:  627 Words
Date:  2023-09-15

Feudalism and Manorialism existed during medieval Europe. Feudalism systems were the relationship between the king and his noble. Manorialism system was characterized by their relationship between the Lords and their peasants. Feudalism followed political and militarism while Manorialism followed the agricultural economic system. The vassalage system describes the relationship that the feudal lords who were also called vassals had with it each other. It was during the vassalage period when lords had the power to distribute land and property. The knights who were raised by the nobles grew up to be military and were to serve the kings or lords. They were given land and payments for their services. The vassals were given land, and in return, they dispense military service to the king. The use of the land became a hereditary property, also known as the fief. The mutual obligations of the vassal were to provide military service.

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The feudal system used a land ownership system where the practice of subinfeudation took place. Subinfeudation gave tenants the right to hold land under the name of the reigning king or lords. The lords subdivided lands to tenant farmers. These farmers used the land under serfdom conditions where the serfs cultivate lands owned by the lords. The serfs were not saves because they had the freedom to raise their own money from cultivating these lands. The lords had power over the tenants and could have the serfs tilling lands not held by other tenants, also known as the demesne land. The demesne land was the part of the manor not held under freehold, therefore, granting the lords the opportunity to use the land for their use. The feudalism was different from Manorialism because the labor services acquired during the feudalism period used slave labor. Manorialism, on the other hand, allowed for serfdom where the serfs offered their labor services to help the church and their lords. The serfs used the labor services to also pay rent for the land they were given by their lords. The Manorialism system allowed the lords of the manor to carry out low justice. The low justice meant that the lords of the manor had power over their serfs and freeholders in their land in issuing justice. The punishments given were light and did not include the death penalty and torture. The feudalism system relied on politics to rule while the Manorialism based its existence on agricultural economics. The church could collect taxes called tithe during the feudalism system. The tithes were extra taxes collected by the church on top of the normal taxes that were paid to the kings (Kramer 813).


The manor system developed based on feudalism, the difference being that it did not rely on the military system. The fall of the Carolingian empire began after the death of Charlemagne the great. The first consequences of the fall of the empire were the invasion by the Arab, who made it hard for the Navy to sail eastwards. The outcome led to a reduced supply of goods to the empire. The Carolingian landowners did not support the empowering of the central government because of their societal role. The noble class who were now great influencers threatened the Carolingian dynasty. The nobles collected taxes and got cheap labor from the peasants who worked in their farms. The nobility class increased in number, making it difficult for the Frankish kings to offer them land. The failed support for nobility due to reduced lands prompted the noble members to take action in seizing churches and monasteries. The consequences of these actions were increased power among the locals.

Works Cited

Kramer, Rutger. Rethinking Authority in the Carolingian Empire: Ideals and Expectations during the Reign of Louis the Pious (813-828). Amsterdam University Press, 2019.

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Essay Sample on Feudalism and Manorialism in Medieval Europe: Vassalage System. (2023, Sep 15). Retrieved from

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