Darius H. Cornejo World History: Module Two, Lesson One
02.01 Travel Journal
How did manorialism develop in Medieval Europe?
When people spread out after the decline of the Roman Empire, some people moved and focused on agriculture. Small, independent economies arose, centered in large agricultural manors. This system was controlled by landlords who built small armies to protect the manor. Though manorialism is the system under which a peasant is made entirely dependent on the land and his lord. Basically, peasants farmed strips of land in large common fields shared by the entire village. Soon, capitalism (an economic, political system in which private businesses and citizens control the means of production, not the government, started forming.
How did the idea of feudalism emerge as a historical construct?
What role does each of the social orders play in the feudal system?
Well, there were four social orders. The top was the king, who had total control over tha land and could grant lands to other people. The second highest in the social system was nobles, which were people who received grants from the kings and would use the land to make money for the king’s taxes. The next was knights. Knights were basically trained warriors who went to war. Sometimes, the got grants for lands, too. The last is peasants. Peasants worked on land and actually worked to keep this system going – the feudal system.
How do the different types of serfs compare to each other?
Well, most serfs were villeins. Villeins are serfs that worked for the landlord and produced crops for the lord and a small portion goes to them. There were also sharecroppers, which were serfs that owed much of their crops to the lord as a fee for the use of land. Another type of serf spends half the week working for the lord and the other half with their family.
What options did a second son have for a career in medieval society?
The firstborn son of a noble would take his father’s place when his father died. The other children had to work for a title. They could join the military, assist knights until becoming a knight himself, train and live with a master of trade, or become a priest or a monk.
In what ways were women’s positions in medieval society tied to the fate of men?
Well, to have a title as a woman, you would either have to become a nun and/or marry. The title of a woman in these times was either attached to her father, if she was single, or her husband, if she was married. Even if her father was a noble, she would still have to marry. Though, if this was the case, her parents could offer her a dowry, which was money or property offered through the potential husband of a daughter.
How did the importance of knights change over time?
Knights were valued because they had great fighting skills. They came from wealthy families and were trained so they could fight for the lord. When a child was eight years old, he would train to become a knight be a student/servant of a professional knight not only with fighting, but with horsemanship, reading, singing, chess, and falconry. Now, we describe knights as romantic princes saving princesses from locked castles with a dragon, and finding hunters, thieves, monsters, and ogres on his way. Though, speaking seriously, knights still exist today in monarchs of Europe.
In the 13th century a knight was an important religious element and still is. In the 16th and 17th centuries, knighthood was seen as an iconic past an people started making parodies of knights being romanticized. Though, in the 19th century, it still seems important.
What role did the Church play in maintaining the manorial system?
How did the Church in the medieval period gain wealth?
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