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Feudalism and Manorialism

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1 Feudalism and Manorialism
In this lesson, students will be able to define and explain the following terms: Feudalism Manorialism Lords Vassals Serfs Fiefs E. Napp

2 The fall of Rome in 476 A.D. altered the map of Europe. The once great
empire was replaced by hundreds of little kingdoms. E. Napp

3 Collapse of Central Government
During the Roman Empire, there was a central government. It made laws and had armies to protect people. However, with the fall of Rome, the central government collapsed. Hundreds of little kingdoms governed in its place. E. Napp

4 After the fall of Rome, the empire was
divided among the various Barbarian tribes. E. Napp

5 Increased Warfare The new kingdoms frequently fought in an attempt to acquire more land. This increased fighting frightened people and encouraged people to think of new ways of protecting themselves. New political and economic systems developed. E. Napp

6 The Early Middle Ages was a dangerous time. E. Napp

7 Peasants Needed Protection
Peasants were frightened. They turned to landowners for protection. Peasants offered their labor in exchange for protection. These peasants were called serfs. E. Napp

8 It was a dangerous time to be a peasant. Poor people turned
to rich landowners with armies for protection. E. Napp

9 Serfs A serf was “bound to the land.”
He could not leave his lord’s land. He was not a slave because he could not be sold. But he was not free because he could not leave. E. Napp

10 Lords gave land to lesser lords called vassals. A vassal had to obey
People who owned land were called lords. Lords gave land to lesser lords called vassals. A vassal had to obey his lord and give military service and loyalty to his lord. E. Napp

11 Feudalism Feudalism was the political and military system of the Middle Ages. In a feudal society, land is exchanged for military service and loyalty. The ownership of land was the basis or power. E. Napp

12 A fief was all of the Lord’s land. The manor was part of the fief. The
manor was the part of the fief where the peasants farmed and the people lived. E. Napp

13 Manorialism Manorialism was the economic system of the Middle Ages.
Manorialism is a self-sufficient economy. Everything that is necessary for life is created on the manor. E. Napp

14 Questions for Reflection:
Why did peasants need protection after the fall of Rome? Why were serfs willing to offer their labor to lords? What was the relationship between lords and vassals? Define feudalism and manorialism. How does manorialism differ from our economic system? E. Napp

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