The Development of Feudalism in Western Europe by oae20205


									The Development of Feudalism in Western Europe

2.2      The Roman Empire had lots of soldiers and a strong army. That
made life in the Empire easy and safe for most people. When the Empire
fell, life in Europe was dangerous and hard. People worked hard just to
get enough to eat. There were also lots of invaders who wanted to take
over their lands.

2.3 People needed someone stronger to protect them. They needed land
to grow food. They needed lords. Lords were rich men who had land that
the king gave them. They had soldiers to protect their land and the
people who lived there. This system was called feudalism.

                             The king was at the top of the social

                             Lords and ladies were below the king.

                             Knights were below the lords and ladies.

                             Peasants were at the bottom of the

Lords got their land from the king. The king owned all the land in the
kingdom. He was at the top of the social pyramid.

Lords rented land from the king. All the land in the kingdom still belonged
to the king, but he let the lords use it. Lords lived in big houses called
manor houses. To pay for the land, the lords trained soldiers that for
king to use. The lords trained soldiers and grew food on the land. Women
who lived in manor houses were called ladies. Ladies were in charge of
running the household: training servants and knights.

People who worked on the land were called peasants. They were farmers.
They gave a lot of the food they grew to the lord. This was their rent.
They kept some of the food for their families. They were poor. They
were at the bottom of the social pyramid. They lived in small houses that
only had one room. They shared their room with their animals! Some
peasants were called serfs. Serfs were a special kind of peasant who
were not free to leav the lord’s land.

The soldiers were called knights. They were in the middle of the social
pyramid. They protected the lord and the king. When they protected the
lord’s land, that helped the peasants. They lived on the land. The knights
helped keep them safe.

Knights were not poor. They had to pay a lot for their armor. They had
to pay a lot for their horses. It took a long time to become a knight. Boys
started learning the ways of knights at the age of 7. They ere called
pages. Pages left their families and went to live at a lord’s manor. They
learned to ride horses, serve food, sing, and play music. When pages were
14, they became squires. Squires helped their knight in battle. They
helped him put on his armor and carried his sword and shield. If a squire
was deserving, he became a knight when he was about 20.

The code of chivalry was the rules knights lived by. It included being loyal
to the church and to their lord. It also included being fair, even to
enemies. It also included being respectful to women.

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