Ancient and Medieval History Notes Part 7

Ancient and Medieval History Notes Part 7 - Ancient and...

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Ancient and Medieval History Notes Part 7 Feudalism: The Carolingians tried to recreate the Roman Empire. There is no real beurocracy. When Charlemagne died, the Carolingian Empire fell. War and chaos took place. The people in these years were vulnerable. The weak looked for protection from the strong. The main importance of a person was personal safety. To defend smaller increments of land from raids by Vikings and others, knights, mounted warriors, with a small retinue of men, became standing warriors that worked for a land owner. This started feudalism. Feudalism was a response to the fall of central govt. It resulted for protection. The knights, to arise as the prominent warrior on the European battlefield, needed stirrups, common in Europe by the 700s and a large horse that looks like a plowhorse. He also had a heavy saddle, thick shield, armor (later chain mail), a sword, and a helmet. “Quid pro quo” He gave protection and the people fed and labored for him. 97% of population was agricultural surf population b/c not much surplus. The warrior elite controlled politics and protection. If you could not protect yourself, you attached to a warlord. A warlord tried to get clients, clientage. He would gather people who owed him. So, warlords had warriors under him. In the past, the State created an army and supplied that army. This can’t happen in the medieval period. The warlord can’t have a bunch of clients b/c he only has land. There isn’t much money. The warlord gave the clients land and protection and they fought for him. Public authority and public control of military power were nonexistent. You had private authority and private control of small military battles. It was different from the past and the future. This was the end, temporarily, of civic militarism, defending the state as a duty. Instead there were personal connections where you were loyal to one person. It was vassalage. Vassals swore fealty to those more politically powerful. The lord offered land. When a vassal swears fealty to a lord, in return for providing, in a knight’s case, military assistance and obedience, he would get a fief, land with serfs. He
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could do whatever he wanted with that land. It was an autonomous piece of land other than the vassal had to carry out his obligations. A warrior vassal has to maintain all the regalia of a warrior: his armor, horse, retainers, and arms. He also has to maintain a fortress on his fief (benefice [immunity]). He was also supposed to provide escort to something. He was supposed to protect his lord’s fortress. If the lord was going to war, the vassal’s fortress was at the lord’s disposal. A warrior owed his lord a month and a half of service. 40 days of service a year was
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Ancient and Medieval History Notes Part 7 - Ancient and...

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