Feudalism In Victorian England

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Feudalism, simply put, was the relationship between a lord and a vassal that changed the way of life during the Middle ages. The relationships between the classes of people. There was no clear hierarchy of who owed service to whom between king, lord, knight, or serf. For example a serf might serve any of these others or a knight might serve a king, but there was no direct level of power except between the vassal and his lord (the giver of property). Feudalism also changed the way England was ruled, the papacy and religious reform, and sparked the crusades. Feudalism was a custom of the Middle ages, it began after the collapse of the Roman Empire. It developed around the 8th century and reached it’s peak and began to decline in the …show more content…
A fief is the central element of feudalism and “is a gift or grant the creates a kind of contractual relationship between the giver and receiver” (Cole & Symes 261). The gift could be land, revenues, or an annual sum of money. In return the recipient owed the giver loyalty or services. The recipient was usually called a vassal, a Celtic word that meant boy. There was a ceremony that would then make the vassal the man of his lord and the lord was then free to protect his vassal and also discipline him. These relationships created and maintained order in areas where there was no authority, but they were not the same all over Europe. There was no clear hierarchical system, though kings felt it should be organized in that sense they were rarely able to enforce this. In England, Duke William of Normandy seeked to become the king of England in 1066. He claimed to be the successor of King Edward who had died. The English people ignored his claims and elected a new king. William then laid his stake down …show more content…
Charlemagne was ruler of the Carolingian empire from 768-814 (237). After his death, there wasn’t a ruler that could maintain the same hold he had on the church. Parishes and churches were abandoned or destroyed. Those churches that did survive “were often regarded as the personal property of some local family” (263) that would use their protection of the parishioners as a reason to oppress them. Holders of papal office were “incompetent or corrupt, the sons or tools of powerful Roman families” (263). Cluny, a Benedictine abbey began a new kind of monastery in Burgundy in 910. It freed “itself from the obligations to local families by placing itself under the direct protection of the papacy” (264). Duke William of Aquitaine relinquished control of Cluny’s property in exchange for prayers and the spiritual support of the monks. This changed the relationship between monasteries and powerful families. “Cluny sponsored other monasteries on the same model” (264). This was a transformation from the independant Benedictine monasteries prior to this time. Sixty-seven Cluny daughter houses, called Cluniac priories, were established by 1049. The papacy began to reform as well around 1046. Beginning with Leo IX who reigned as pope from 1049-54). He was appointed pope by his relative Henry III, the German Emperor. “Leo and his supporters took control of the papal court and

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