1 Chapter 15 Sec 2 Notes: Feudalism What is feudalism?After Charlemagne’s empire fell, landowning nobles became more powerful, and peasants looked to nobles for protection. Under the system known as feudalism, landowning nobles governed and protected the people in return for services, such as serving as a soldier or farming the nobles lands.B. Nobles were both lords and vassals. A vassal was a noble who served a lord of a higher rank. A vassal showed his loyalty by serving in his lord’s army, and the lord granted the vassal land in exchange. The land granted to a vassal was called a fief.C. Knights were vassals who fought in war on horseback. They wore coats of armor called mail.
2 D. Fiefs were called manors. Lords ruled manors, and peasants Farmed the land. Some peasants were free, had rights, and couldmove. Most peasants were serfs, which meant they could not leave the manor, own property, or marry without the lord’s approval. Lords had a duty to protect serfs.E. To gain freedom, a serf could run away and remain in a town fora year. Then he or she would be considered free. By the end of the Middle Ages, many serfs could buy their freedom.F. New technology increased crop productivity in the Middle Ages. The wheeled plow, the horse collar, water and wind-powered mills, and crop rotation helped farmers produce more food..
3 II. Life in Feudal Europe A. Knights followed rules called the code of chivalry. The code required knights to be brave, obey their lords, show respect to women of noble birth, and honor and help the church.B. Wives and daughters ran manors when the noblemen went to war.C. A castle was the center of the manor. Castles had two parts: a human-made or naturally steep hill called a motte, with an open space called a bailey next to the motte. The central building of the castle, called the keep, was built on the motte.D. The castle keep contained a basement, kitchens, stables, a great hall, chapels, toilets, and bedrooms.
4 (Continue Life in Feudal Europe) E. Peasant worked hard in the fields year-round. They did not work on Catholic feast days, about 50 days a year.F. Peasant women had to work the fields and raise children.G. Bread was the basic staple of the peasant diet. Peasants also ate vegetables, milk, nuts and fruit.
5 III. Trade and CitiesA. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, almost all trade ended. Most people did not leave their tiny villages.B. Feudalism and technology helped promote trade. Increased trade made towns larger, and several cities, such as Venice in Italy and towns in Flanders, which is today a part of Belgium, became wealthy. Northern European merchants traded with Asian merchants in trade fairs.C. In the early Middle Ages, people bartered, but later people began using money again.D. Often, towns were under the control of the lords. In exchange for taxes, the lords granted townspeople basic rights, such as the freedom to buy and sell property and to serve in the army.E. Eventually, towns set up their own governments, with elected members of city councils. Members of wealthy families were usually able to control elections.
6 F. Guilds, or business groups, were established by craftspeople F. Guilds, or business groups, were established by craftspeople. Guilds set standards for quality in products, determine how many products would be sold, set prices for products, and decided who could enter a trade.G. A child of 10 could become an apprentice. Apprentices learned a trade from a master craftsperson. An apprentice eventually became a journeyman and then a master.H. Medieval cities contained crowded, wooden houses on narrow winding streets. Cities were dirty and smelled, and pollution filled the sky and contaminated water.I. Women in cities prepared meals, raised their children, and managed their household’s money. They often helped their husbands with their trades, and some women practiced their own trades.