|Honors World History
Key to Chapter 7, Section 2 (Pages 33-38) Feudalism and the Manor Economy
Read the section. Write and answer the 3 “checkpoint” questions.
A. What was the relationship between lords and vassals?
They had mutual obligations: lords provided land (fiefs) and protection; vassals provided loyalty, military service, money and advice. These relationships could get quite complex with some lesser lords (knights) being vassals to several greater lords. This could become problematic if said greater lords engaged in battle against each other. Thus, vassals prioritized these complex loyalties, identifying one “liege lord to whom he pledged first loyalty. “ Sometimes members of the feudal system were both vassals and lords at the same time.
B. How was warfare central to the life in the Middle Ages?
Rival lords battled constantly for power and also fought invaders. This gave rise to a class of warriors called knights and to the development of the castle, used as a fortress for protection during warfare.
C. How did the manor system work?
Lords granted land to peasants in return for their favor and certain fees (at Christmas and Easter). The favors that peasants did ranged from farming the manor to supplying the knights and lords with all they needed in order to live (food, jewels, honey, tools, luxuries, etc). Peasants were able to use some lands to help feed their own families. In return for these favors and fees, lords provided protection to peasants by providing a castle for peasants to retreat to during times of invasion and lords made sure the peasants were protected by a fighting force of knights. Peasant labor on farms and as artisans made the manor self-sufficient during the early Middle-Ages.
Explain the “ins and outs” of Chivalry.
Chivalry was a code of conduct used by the warrior class of Western Europe, the knights. This code set the standard of knight behavior and required knights to act bravely in battle and always keep their words, especially to their lords. Rules were defined for battle as well and it was necessary for knights to treat captured knights well, allow opposing knights time to dress in armor before engaging him in combat, and to release captured knights on the promise that he would eventually pay the ransom price demanded for his release. Further, knights were required to assist the vulnerable and weak and to look at women with great respect, placing them on “pedestals.” However, the code only applied to the warrior class and the nobles, not to the peasants.
Manors inside the Germanic Kingdoms were self-sufficient. Support this statement with evidence.
The manor was the economic component to the political system of feudalism. The serfs of the manor produced and made practically all materials necessary for survival the serfs, knights, and lords of the manor. These materials included honey, food crops, tools, saddles, weapons, clothing, furniture, tapestries, and even luxuries for some. Because the conditions outside the manors were chaotic, unsafe and the roads fell into disrepair, very little trade took place. As a result, the manors were forced to become self-sufficient. Eventually, trade was not required, nor was money.
The social hierarchy of medieval Western Europe was complicated. Explain the roles or jobs of Serfs, Knights, Lords and Kings. Order these four groups into a hierarchy reflective of Medieval Europe.
1. Kings/Monarchs-in charge of law and order for the kingdom though most power lay in the hands of the lords; granted fiefs to lesser lords in exchange for those lords promising to send their knights to defend the king when necessary. Monarchs were lords to all and vassals to none.
2. Lords- Nobles in charge of law and order for the manors; lived in the castles; hired and maintained the warrior class of knights to protect the manor with items produced from the serf class or obtained from war spoils; granted permission to serfs to leave the manor and permission on whom they could marry; the source of most political power in the system of feudalism. Lords were granted large fiefs from their monarchs and lords. Lords who had great power and who had larger plots of land were given titles from the king such as duke, baron and count. All lords were vassals to the kings and lords to the knights and serfs.
3. Knights- defended the castle, manor and kingdom; studied from young age how to fight in battle on foot (using spears, crossbow, longbows, daggers) and on horse (using axes, swords and lances), and how to his maintain armor. Knights were supported by the efforts of the serfs and were granted smaller fiefs from the lords in exchange for their military service. Knights were vassals to lords and monarchs but were not lords to the serfs.
4. Serfs- made up the majority of the population in Western Europe and on the manors themselves. Serfs, although not slaves, were not allowed to leave the manor freely and were inherited with the land when a fiefdom was granted. They were the labor force on the manors and were subservient to all.
Answer the two “Thinking Critically” Questions regarding defending a castle. (pg. 35)
A. Drawbacks of using castles for defense: could run out of food, could be trapped inside, difficult to replace defenders killed inside the castle, etc.
B. Technologies developed in RESPONSE to castle defense: weapons to use during siege warfare such as a catapult/trebuchet, battering ram, siege tower, ladders, flaming arrows…etc.
Describe the emergence of feudalism.
Due to the constant influx of invaders to Western Europe (Muslims, Magyars and in particular, the Vikings), the kings and emperors could no longer protect their people. This caused a decentralized system of rule to arise in the region called feudalism.