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Lecture 9

HIST 2200 Lecture 9: Hist2200 Lecture 9 (02.08.2017)

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University of Guelph
HIST 2200
Chelsea Hartlen

Hist*2200 Lecture #9 ▯1 Chelsea Hartlen T/Th 1:00-2:20 Topic - Changes in Medieval Society and Technology Primogeniture Demesne Partible Inheritance Manor Fief Heavy Plough Lord and Vassal Horse Collar Homage Three-field system Fealty Nucleated Village Feudalism Commercial revolution Peasants and Serfs Merchants Introduction Previous understanding of medieval Europe as divided into three estates: 1. People who worked 2. People who fought 3. People who prayed 4. Eventually, women are added as a fourth estate in the 80s The Roman Empire was very urban and commercial, but when it fell and infrastructure crumbled, the rest of Western Europe became more rural. The mediterranean was the exception to this. In the early medieval period, the political stability and organization of the Roman Empire was lost in most areas. Feudalism (the 10th/11th centuries) reintroduces social and political stability to Western Europe. Feudalism Marc Bloch in Feudal Society (1930): • Feudalism = political and social system, not an economic force • Involved the governance of people and making political decisions • Social network in which the various rungs of social rank (like a pyramid) were connected through homage (between a lord and vassal) and relationships based on military service in return for land Some historians disagree with Bloch (Susan Reynolds).As was fairly evident during the lecture, feudalism was not everywhere the same at all times. Feudalism was different depending on the area, so sometimes it can be misleading to use the term. Hist*2200 Lecture #9 ▯2 Chelsea Hartlen T/Th 1:00-2:20 Lords and Vassals - Fief = land held by a lord (given by the King) or vassal (from a lord) for service (military service, product of the land, or both) - When a lord or vassal died, the title and land went to his first-born son: primogeniture King Lord Lord (military service) (military service) Vassal Vassal Vassal (military service+ (military service+ (military service+ produce) produce) produce) Peasant Farmers/Serfs Peasant Farmers/Serfs Peasant Farmers/Serfs (work the land/ (work the land/ (work the land/ produce) produce) produce) How is this possible? - People had no cash, and coupled with empty land and no standing army, peasants needed protection and someone to dispense justice Fealty and Homage - Investiture = land for service • One free man submits to another in an act of homage • clasp hands, pledge loyalty, *kiss* = bonded for life as lord and vassal - Didn’t just draw up a contract b.c. most people were illiterate, so rituals and symbolism were more effective and memorable • To renege on this vow of fealty was to declare war • Knight service was usually 40 days in the summer Hist*2200 Lecture #9 ▯3 Chelsea Hartlen T/Th 1:00-2:20 • When cash becomes plentiful again, knights pay scuttle to get out of service and the king hires mercenaries instead (yay - a job for the unlucky sons who were not born first) Fiefs - Owned by a king or lord, but vassal was permitted to use/defend and control fiefs however they wanted - Usually contiguous piece of land, but over time it was parcelled out so that other arrangements have to be made • Fiefs come to consist of physical land + privileges relating to other lands or both • Subinfeudination = vassals granting little pieces of fiefs to other lesser vassals - This gets out of hand so most places stop; in the places they don’t stop you get useless fiefs that consist of 1/8 of a well and 1/10 of a garden Variations of feudalism and primogeniture govern basically all of Western Europe by the 10th and 11th centuries. Eventually, the custom becomes enshrined in law. • Even though feudalism was not exactly the same everywhere, it was still based on primogeniture and the king-lord-vassal-serf arrangement so we can talk about a feudal model or system • Affects social organization b.c. - Lords can collect fees when daughters are married or sons are knighted - Minors (age varies from place to place) are valuable commodities because if they are orphaned while still a minor, the lord can profit off of their lands until they are married or come of age (and they can choose who they marry) Politics and Justice - Homage/fealty goes both ways • King needs to listen to his lords/vassals (proto-parliaments) • Lords/vassals seek justice from the king (protection/authority); king can also pass judgement on his lords/vassals if they step out of line - Castles were a central part of feudalism: castle contains lord, lord surrounded by mounted warriors, outlying field occupied by farmers and crops which support the castle and knights - Church was involved too. • Monasteries and clergymen were given fiefs just like secular lords (but the church “owned the land” not the monks or priests so it was still good on the vow of poverty) - They could have knights and benefit from labours of peasant farmers and serfs Peasants and Serfs Most direct relationship with the land. Social rank was composed of former freemen or slaves of the Roman Empire - Freemen = allodial lands = lands that were not part of a larger estate (but the farmers were not wealthy lords either) Hist*2200 Lecture #9 ▯4 Chelsea Hartlen T/Th 1:00-2:20 - Slaves became medieval ‘serfs’(but were not considered
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