Feudalism in Europe: Label the social classes

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14.1 Feudalism – Compare and Contrast Japan and Europe Page:___

Feudalism in Europe and Japan Name:____________________



Feudalism in Europe: Label the social classes:

Which group(s) have the money and power?

__________Lords and Kings___________________________


Knights / Vassals
Which group has the largest population?


Feudalism in Japan:

  • During the 1000s, the Japanese Emperor began to lose power.

  • The emperor continued to rule but he had less control over the country.

  • Nobles gained more power and wealth. They had so much wealth and power that they became independent of the emperor and often disobeyed him.

  • Nobles owned estates, large farms. The work done on these farms was done by peasants.

  • The nobles hired armies to defend them, their estates, and the peasants who worked for them.

  • The armies were made up of warriors, called samurai.

  • As time went on, samurai warriors grew in numbers and formed their own clans.

  • Each clan promised loyalty to a warlord, or daimyo.

  • The daimyo expected his samurai warriors to be willing to give their lives for him.

  • The clans often went to war with each other and eventually the Minamoto clan became the most powerful.

  • In 1192, the emperor gave the title of shogun, supreme military commander, to the leader of the Minamoto clan.

Social Pyramid in Japan: Label the social pyramid.

Which group was the most powerful?______Shoguns______

Which groups were the warrior class?_________________

_____________Shoguns, Diamyos, Samurai___________


Who were the farmers and fishermen?____Peasants___

What was the largest percentage of the population? Peasants, 90%

Artisans or craftspeople
Which was the lowest class in society?____merchants_____

Merchants or sales people

  • Samurai warriors lived by a strict set of rules called bushido. They swore an oath to follow these rules without question. Honor meant more than wealth or even life.

  • Women were expected to live up to same values of honor and courage.

  • Their armor was made up of leather and metal scales tied with silk and leather. This was lightweight and allowed them to be quick but was not as protective as just armor.

  • Peasants were separated into sections. Farmers were the highest level of peasants. Craftsman, or artisans, worked with wood and metal and became sword makers.

  • Merchants were the lowest class because it was believed they lived off of other peoples work.

Feudalism in Europe:

  • European armor was all metal, made of chain metal or metal plate.

  • European knights were not able to move once in their armor. They needed help onto their horses, and they would simply try to knock their opponents off their horses.

  • Knights were bound by a Code of Chivalry which valued honor, honesty, valor, and loyalty. They took sacred oaths of etiquette and conduct.

  • Code of Chivalry was deeply rooted in Christianity.

  • Serfs were the lowest class, they had few rights, did not own their land and were often used as soldiers.

Role of Women: Which group of women do you believe had more freedom and rights, and why?
_____Answers will vary, but, probably Japanese women. They could become warriors, inherit land, and fight. European women could not do any of these.
End of Feudalism:


Begins to decline:___1400s__

Why: New weapons, like cannons and guns, left knights unprotected. Created new types of warfare. Also, trade increases and lords realize that they can make more money by selling land rather than through feudalism.


Begins to decline:_____1800s______

Why:_Europeans start coming in to trade and they realize they make money through trade.

Compare and Contrast Feudalism in Japan and Europe.

Wore armor and rode horses in battle.

Prepared for war for years.

Starting training as young men.

Followed strict ethical codes.

Very religious.

Members of special warrior class.

Landowners dependent on military service.

Castles for protection.

Ends in 1400s.

New military technology makes knights less effective.

Knights loyalty was based on a legal contract.

Based on Christianity.

Knights would raid farms and lower classes to get supplies they need

Ends in late 1800s.

Used lighter, more flexible armor.

Practiced Buddhism.

Followed bushido code.

Samurai were usually well educated.

Samurai did not fight with lower classes, peasants were safe.



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