Feudalism is a form of political , economic and social organization that took place in the Middle Ages on the European continent . It began in the fourth century and lasted until the fifteenth century.
The formation of feudalism
In the early Middle Ages, more specifically during the period of the Carolingian Empire, it began to shape the foundations of feudalism. When the Carolingian Empire weakened, new European kingdoms emerged and, at the same time, a series of invasions by barbarian peoples (Vikings and Slavs) took place. This new social and political framework created a climate of insecurity . At the same time, there was an increase in the value of land. In this way, the new order configures a society in which class division is the most characteristic element. Feudalism
In the highest society was the sovereign or feudal lord. Below him the high nobility and the high clergy. On a lower scale appeared the lower nobility and the lower clergy. At the base of the social pyramid were the peasants and, lastly, the serfs. Peasants and serfs were the unprivileged and ahead of the rest of the classes or groups with some kind of privilege. This social organization is the characteristic feature of feudalism and that determines the political and economic dimension of the Middle Ages.
The feudal lord was the owner or owner of the manor, that is, of a part of the territory. The set of different social groups established a series of social relations . Thus, some peasants asked for protection from feudal lords and in return received land and a series of obligations that made them vassals. The vassal was considered a man inferior to the feudal lord, because he gave him protection. To become a vassal it was necessary to fulfill an oath, an homage. In this act the vassal swore loyalty to the lord in exchange for protection.
In the feudalism model, each individual has a role depending on their social position.
Thus, the lord had the military power, the religious group with the function of indoctrinating the population, the nobles had certain privileges (for example, not paying some taxes) and the peasants and serfs fulfilled the function of serving the privileged classes through their job. It should be noted that serfs were obligated to fulfill the contract of serfdom, which in a few words consists of being at the service of the feudal lord.