Feudalism and Manor System

Warm Up
Identifications: (answers the 5 W’s)
for each of the below terms tell me :
who they were (or who was involved),
what they did (what they were),
when they lived (when was it written),
where they lived/had influence,
and why they are significant):
Eleanor of Aquitaine
William the Conqueror
Magna Carta
Middle Ages Raps/Songs!
Feudalism and Manor System
Medieval Manor
The Peasant
Crash Course: The Dark Ages
• Feudalism – a political and social system
-government structure and social class system
- nobles offer protection/land to vassals in return
for service
• Vassal – person who served the lord in the
military or in the fields
• Fief – land given to vassal by lord
• Armies generally made up of foot soldiers and
Feudalismgive and take system
vassal vassal
Modern examples with a similar hierarchy: Drug cartels, Mafia, gangs, etc…. The
less important guy MUST do what he is told to do by the guy above him OR ELSE,
but he is also protected by his “people/guys” if someone from another group
picks on him. SAME CONCEPT! Except this was literally the political and social
structure/ government in the middle ages in Europe.
Manor System
• Innovations led to more efficient production
– Water wheels for water/wind power (mills)
– Iron tools: hoe, axe, scythe, plowshare
– Horses used in plowing
– 3 field system – crop rotation, fields divided into
thirds instead of in half: produced MORE b/c one
field was left empty to allow nature to regenerate
minerals in soil (see next slide)
• Manor – agricultural estate owned by lord and
worked by peasants
– Many free peasants became serfs – peasants legally
tied to the land (can’t move away, no job opportunities)
• Peasants paid lord part of crops, also paid 1/10 to
3 Field Crop Rotation
and a Mill
• Nobles – men with titles (lord,
duke, earl, etc.) and land
– Lots of political power
• Chivalry
(from the French word “chevalerie” for “horse
soldier” because only knights fought on horseback,
the peasants had to walk to battle and fight on footthus knights and lords were recognizable to the
– code of ethics/behavior
knights lived by:
Treat prisoners well
Fight for honor
Treat women well
Fight for your God
• Lord of estate often at war: so
the “lady” ran estate
– (food, finances, supplies for land,
A Peasant’s Life
Lived in simple 1-2 room cottages
These are men
pictured above. Try not
to be jealous of their
clothes 
Followed cycles of field labor,
Mostly ate bread, vegetables, cheese
Clean water hard to get- drank ale (alcohol)
Most work in Fall (harvest)
Feast days – Roman Catholic holidays to
celebrate great events of faith
-no work, got to eat meat, be with
friends/extended family
• w/ end of Viking raids, Muslim invasions into
Europe (which we will come back to):
– peace returned & trade with it
• Trade fairs meeting of merchants
• Merchants demanded coins instead of bartering
= money economy
– Began to have bankers to exchange money, etc.
• Created commercial capitalism –
– economic system invested in trade/goods to make $
• merchants moved near trade routes
– Needed protection
• moved near castles
• built walls around cities/towns
• Narrow/winding/dark streets
– houses hung over street
– “chamber pots” (basically a pot people used the bathroom in) dumped out
their windows and into the streets…be careful where you
walk 
• Fires b/c buildings made of wood until 14th C.
• Smelled bad b/c of human/animal waste,
– constant burning of wood/dung for businesses
• Water polluted (butchers/tanners) relied on wells
• Women helped husbands run businesses
Industry and Guilds
• Craftsmen organized
into guilds –
business associations
– Set quality of
production, price, etc.
• To join guild, there
were steps you had to
– Apprentice
– Journeyman
– Master (after
masterpiece approved
by guild)
Town v. Manor
• Write a one-page well-crafted essay in which
you argue whether you would rather live in a
medieval town or manor.
– Try to convince us of your argument
– State your facts to support your argument
– Text- (manor life: p. 384-386; towns: 410-412)
– ADD a visual