Monday, May 29, 2023

Concept of Feudalism

Feudalism can be broadly defined as a social and political system for structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land, known as a fiefdom or fief, in exchange for service or labor.

Feudalism prevailed in the Middle Ages in Europe and Japan and generally involved a lord (the landowner) allowing vassals (tenants) to rent the land by providing services, especially military service.

A lord was in broad terms a noble who held land, a vassal was a person who was granted possession of the land by the lord, and a fief was what the land was known as.

The serfs are the lowest stratum in the society. They had neither the land of their own, nor they were independent. They worked in the land given to them by their Lord.

The peasant serf's working time was divided into necessary and surplus time. During the necessary time, the peasant created the product necessary for his own existence and the existence of his family. During the surplus time he created the surplus product which was appropriated by the lord. The surplus labor of the peasant who worked on the lord's demesne, or the surplus product created by the peasant in his own holding and appropriated by the lord, constitute feudal land-rent.

Serfs were not free to work elsewhere or go wherever they pleased—if the land passed from one owner to another, the serfs were then required to work the land for that new owner. And they were required to get the lord’s permission to do just about anything, including getting married or traveling off of the land.

In 12th-century England, the king was the absolute “owner” of land in the feudal system, and all nobles, knights, and other tenants, termed vassals, merely “held” land from the king, who was thus at the top of the feudal pyramid.
Concept of Feudalism

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