Questions tagged [feudalism]

Social, economical and political system of Medieval Europe and in similar way in China and Japan. The system consisted of complex network of relations between nobility, making them lords and vassals of one another, and requiring serfdom from peasants.

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What were the heir and children of monarchs with the titles "Grand Prince" or "Prince" called?

I've tried to look everywhere, but I could not find anything substantial. What I want to know is, what were the heirs and grander offspring of monarchs, with titles such as "Grand Prince" or ...
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How was Enguerrand VII de Coucy able to keep his allegiance to both king of England and France during the Hundrend Years War?

I was trying to do some research on the subject of feudal contracts. I found some example contracts here. This contains two contracts and one oath of fealty which as I understand it is part of the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How did the Japanese populace view the emperor during the Edo Period?

What was the context behind the Sonnō Jōi (尊皇攘夷, "revere the emperor and repel the barbarians") movement? To my understanding, the Edo Shogunate was a typical feudal society with strict ...
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11 votes
3 answers
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Where can I find examples of fiefs that are not land?

In the Wikipedia article it is written that fiefs were not necessarily lands: However, not only land but anything of value could be held in fee, including governmental office, rights of exploitation ...
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34 votes
6 answers
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How is serfdom related to slavery?

As far as I understand serfdom is very closely related to slavery. For example, Wikipedia mentions serfs could be traded, bought and sold and were more or less at the mercy of their owner/lord and ...
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Who was the sovereign of the lowest title? [closed]

It is known that there existed sovereign counts (Armagnac, count at God will). But had you read about sovereign viscounts or barons? Or some boyar/boyarin (~= baron) in Eastern Europe? The same about ...
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How were de jure lands determined during the Middle Ages in Western Europe?

I was continuing my research on the strained relationship of France and England during the Middle-Ages. As I was reading up on Philip II Augustus of France in Wikipedia I stumbled upon this: The ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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Was there a semi-professional soldiering class in Early Middle Ages Europe?

We're all familiar with the basic setup of feudal society: a large class of peasants supporting a small martial-administrative class of knights. In the event of a big war, peasants get handed some ...
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How did medieval manors handle population growth? Was there room for more fields to be ploughed?

Most villeins were bound to the manor and not allowed to move elsewhere. But what happened when the population grew? The size of the manor remained the same didn't it, so how did they keep up with the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Did every medieval village in Europe have a manor, castle, or other type of lord's residence?

I know that some villages were the sole and only property of certain minor lords or knights. Such villages surely had a manor (or even a castle) where the lord lives. On the other hand, many lords ...
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What was the relation of Barons to Counts/Dukes/Earls in England during the medieval ages? [closed]

Barons from what I gather, were under direct obligation to the king. What was the position of counts or dukes? Was their position that of viceroy? As in the barons in the area under the county/duchy ...
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Why, apart from religious reasons, might someone in thirteenth century England give land to a Church?

In 1285 the following grant of land was made: Be it known that I, Robert son of Alan de Waley have given for the salvation of my soul and of my ancestors and successors to God and the Blessed Mary ...
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When did England stop being a Papal fief?

In 1213, King John surrendered England to the papacy making it a Papal fief where the Pope would be paid annual tribute. However King Edward I did not act as a vassal to the Pope because he got into ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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In a feudal system the king would give land to the knights in exchange for military services. Where did he get his money from then?

From what I've read (grossly oversimplifying) in a feudal system king owned all the land and would give parts of said land to his knights in exchange for military service. The knights would, in turn, ...
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14 votes
1 answer
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During feudalism in Europe, was one's allegiance to the lord more or less important than the allegiance to the king?

So, let's say your feudal overlord is rebelling against the king. Who do you owe your allegiance to, the lord, or the king? It's best to fight for the one who's going to win, obviously, but what would ...
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What was the conflict in Milan from 1041-1044?

I was researching the Pataria movement in Milan that began around 1045. I found mention of a compromise of Milan in 1044. This got me interested in these earlier events. The only information that I ...
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Were there inns and hostels in medieval Europe?

In fantasy novels or roleplaying games it is very common for the characters to stay a night at an inn, hostel or tavern. But I'm curious of what it was like for real in medieval times. I'm ...
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9 votes
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How did the king give land to new barons without taking it from the old ones?

I'm curious on how feudalism (in medieval England primarily) worked in practice. It's pretty straight forward on paper. This is my trail of thoughts, trying to wrap my head around it. I have just ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Under feudal primogeniture, did second+ sons ever eye the land holdings of their father's vassals?

Kings had the power to grant power and privileges their non-first born sons. The lesser vassals second, third, ect sons were more less out of luck, having to resign themselves to pursuits other than ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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What were the rights and responsibilities of (various classes of) 11th century English commonfolk?

I have been dismayed to see (what I see as) gross mischaracterizations of serfdom on this site; usually conflating it with slavery, and often even with the particularly abhorrent version of slavery ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Under what circumstances did feudal rulers grant land to someone new?

From wikipedia: A fief (/fiːf/; Latin: feudum) was the central element of feudalism and consisted of heritable property or rights granted by an overlord to a vassal who held it in fealty (or "in ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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How did Tenures Abolition Act of 1660 change feudalism in England?

The Tenures Abolition Act of 1660, according to Wikipedia, "changed the nature of feudal land tenure in England". It: .. replaced various types of military and religious service tenants owed to the ...
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Are fiefdoms near the Capital assigned to trusted allies or the opposite, and why?

Our professor of Chinese History (in a document you can't access without a university account) when talking about feudal age China (before 221 BCE) makes a passing remark. She says in Ancient China ...
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In what European countries did non-hereditary nobility exist? (XVII-XIX centuries)

In Imperial Russia a person of simple birth could be granted "personal nobility"(non-hereditary), by state service or even by some noble deeds out of it (traders got it this way). The whole system ...
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2 votes
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Was feudalism a necessary step on the path to modern political and economic systems? [duplicate]

There is no one commonly accepted definition of Feudalism, but we can broadly define it as a system of reciprocal obligations between landowners and serfs. It was the dominant system of politics and ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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What was the status of peasants who left to join the People's Crusade?

The 1096 People's Crusade were joined mostly by peasants, led by the priest Peter the Hermit independently of their lords. What was the status of these peasants' trip? Were they free to take trips and ...
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8 votes
3 answers
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What happens if a vassal inherits not under the control of their sovereign?

For example, suppose some count in France inherits a county in the Holy Roman Empire. Does the count become a vassal of both the King of France and the HRE? What if said Count inherited a whole ...
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1 answer
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How did urbanization affect feudal society (middle ages)? [closed]

How did urbanization affect feudal society (middle ages) The political, economic and cultural affects. As well as how it started.
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6 votes
1 answer
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Could a ruler demand a homage from an independent prince?

The Polish Wikipedia about the battle of Kowal (1327) says (translation mine, maybe in some places duke and prince are not used correctly): In 1327 Władysław I Łokietek [the Polish king] begun the ...
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What was the political consciousness of a 15th century English peasant?

How did they feel about the monarchy and living under lords? Were they are aware of alternative political structures? Did they believe their lives were fair?
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8 votes
2 answers
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Jean III de Grailly, captal de Buch's strange title

The title of Jean III de Grailly, Captal de Buch, seems odd to me. It was acquired by his father Jean II de Grailly (so it was passed down from father to son like other titles of nobility): Jean ...
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6 votes
4 answers
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Has feudalism been a programmed event for nations in the past?

I can't help but notice that when a kingdom/empire/nation reaches a certain level of development, they seem to change their administration to feudalism. Europe, Japan and China are examples of what I ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How did the Abbey of Cluny derive revenue from William of Aquitaine's hunting preserve?

My understanding is that traditionally most monasteries were extensions of the Roman villa system, owning land and the labor of the attached peasants -- the same economic basis as the aristocracy. ...
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11 votes
4 answers
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Whose colors/coat-of-arms did men-of-arms wear in a feudal army, 14th century?

During the feudal age in Europe there were some kind of hierarchy among nobles, for example, a small lord provided military service to a larger lord, which did the same to a yet larger lord, etc. ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between "seigneurie" and "manor"?

From page 170 of Samuel Clark's State and Status: The Rise of the State and Aristocratic Power in Western Europe: In the Spanish/Austrian Low Countries a change in the ancient coat of arms of a ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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How widespread were major dynasties which did not follow agnatic succession or male primogeniture?

Agnatic succession - as far as monarchic rule - is a way of determining the rules for the next monarch by declaring the eldest surviving child of the current monarch as the heir (typically, male child ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Who gave Charles the Bold his nickname and why?

I am talking about the Duke of Burgundy here. Wikipedia has a tantalizing footnote (n. 1): Charles le Téméraire is more accurately translated in English as "the Rash", but the English ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Who swore fealty to his overlord and immediately knocked him down?

I remember a story about a physically strong medieval figure, I believe maybe in Normandy, who swore fealty to some relatively weak overlord, but during the ceremony kicked or knocked the overlord off ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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Status of merchants in feudal Europe

What was the status of merchants during the feudal age in Europe? Did they, like peasants, serve/have allegiance to certain land owning lord? If yes, do they have different status or privileges from ...
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