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Unformatted text preview: Feudal societies From the 9th to 15th centuries, feudalism was a form of society based on ownership of land. Unlike today's farmers, vassals under feudalism were bound to cultivating their lord's land. In exchange for military protection, the lords exploited the peasants into providing food, crops, crafts, homage, and other services to the owner of the land. The caste system of feudalism was often multigenerational; the families of peasants may have cultivated their lord's land for generations. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, a new economic system emerged that began to replace feudalism. Capitalism is marked by open competition in a free market, in which the means of production are privately owned. Europe's exploration of the Americas served as one impetus for the development of capitalism. The introduction of foreign metals, silks, and spices stimulated great development of capitalism....
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- Fall '09