The Middle Ages

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What role did the institutions of Feudalism and Manorialism play in European society?

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Feudalism and manorialism were essentially the foundations upon which the Middle Ages was contrived. In the Middle Ages, the wealthy owned manors and had entire estates, while the poorest individuals, the serfs, had nothing to their name. So, in order to provide for themselves, the serfs would pledge their lives and servitude to a wealthy individual and would work the land on that individual's estate. In return, the landowner would receive their labor and the profits of the harvest.

These ideas are an act of reciprocity—where one party offers something in exchange for safety or provision from another party. This extended to the nobility and to knights, as individual knights (who were less impoverished than the serfs, but not quite as wealthy as the landowners) would pledge allegiance...

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