HIS109Y1 Lecture Notes - Feudalism

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14 Nov 2012
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Fief, comitatus, vassal
End of 5th century - world not a happy place
Roman empire would decline
Everything from Rome was gone
Roman Laws, Roman Currency, Communication, Roads, Harbours no longer maintained
The world would become a much more local place
When trade ended, the cities began to decline
The need for security would begin to dominate everything in society
Traditions of the ancient roman empire would begin to change
People who would come to offer help for the powerful - mercenaries
Patron/client relationship would have changed
More of the safety network would become rural
Rich - went to the countryside
It was safer, you could have fortified your defences, and you had access to a good supply of food
This was the beginning of feudalism - group to support a leader who will protect them
Was integrated into the Barbarian Tribes - tribal arrangements
tribal chief surround himself with his most brutal warriors
The group of thugs were know as chieftus comitatus
The groups were used when settled down into tribes
8th century - 9th century
Urban life = decline
Protection was needed
Relationship that were bound on oaths of trust - had privileges b/c needed to be granted to them
Roman Empire - people with private armies and estates could do what they wanted to do
Would also be the head of the gov't
This would be the beginning of the feudalism system structure :
Private runs public life
Increased military function
The world had become a dangerous place
The system would have began to function efficiently
Feudalism also had a more important function - increase in technology
The stirrup was also invented - it was revolutionary to the world
The stirrup would revolutionize warfare
Horses were expensive, training was expensive, you needed to be fit
The chieftain comitatus fit the description for the job
Public power in Private Hands - you needed loyalty
Chivalry - derives from the French world for horse. They were Knights
They became to only privileged military class
Foot soldiers - would have been destroyed by the knights - not all warriors were equal
How do you sustain the groups ?
They were all thungs. How do you keep there loyalty ?
You established a culture of mutual loyalty
Knights: gave the security and ability to fight
Landlords: knights were given land, give them money for there lifestyle
The alligence of the knights was bought
Fief - Transfer of land and state over to the knight. This was a major principle in the feudalist system
The system worked extremely well
It had lasted from the 800 -1200 before decline
It was an unstable, violent time
Security was provided locally
The barter economy was then started - money was useless and was not needed
The Barter and trade system was working extremely well at this time
No money would change hands
Demographics - land was extremely cheap b/c pop of Europe declined, health of Europeans had declined
Feudalism
September-17-12
3:10 PM
Sept Lect. Page 1
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Document Summary

End of 5th century - world not a happy place. Roman laws, roman currency, communication, roads, harbours no longer maintained. The world would become a much more local place. When trade ended, the cities began to decline. Security and safety was no longer present - romans would have enforced this. The need for security would begin to dominate everything in society. Traditions of the ancient roman empire would begin to change. People who would come to offer help for the powerful - mercenaries. More of the safety network would become rural. It was safer, you could have fortified your defences, and you had access to a good supply of food. This was the beginning of feudalism - group to support a leader who will protect them. Was integrated into the barbarian tribes - tribal arrangements tribal chief surround himself with his most brutal warriors. The group of thugs were know as chieftus comitatus.

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