Negative Effects of European Feudalism

Length: 3 Pages 836 Words

Negative Effects of European Feudalism In the Middle Ages, feudalism was a form of government that contributed to many changes worldwide. Both Japan and Europe used this political system in which monarchs and lesser nobles made alliances based on exchanging land grants for loyalty. Although the different backgrounds of Japan and Europe influenced the development of their own separate feudalistic systems, each country’s system had many similarities along with differences. However, when compared to Japan, Europe’s feudal system had a greater negative effect on Europe’s culture than Japan. Based on feudalism, the strict separation and segregation of Europe’s social classes served only to hinder the development of its society. Also, due to the small number of educated people in Europe and the absence of meritocracy, intellect had little to do with feudalism and prevented culture from developing. Finally, the limits Europe placed on religious diversity brought down the level of its culture significantly. These weaknesses in Europe’s feudal system affected the future of the continent as a whole. Europe and Japan separated their social classes differently. An extraordinary amount of each nation’s social structure wa Continue...

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If European peasants were lucky enough to find work, their jobs were limited to farming and taking care of a noble's land. Whoever had an established role in feudalism was usually connected with the Christian church. These officials based their decisions on their judgment and for their own good, not for that of the peasants and the people for whom they were making decisions. A large but rather restricted part of feudal European life was religion. Contrary to Europe, in Japan, many unique systems, laws, structures, and religions allowed and embraced cultural development. Another example of cultural detriment in Europe was the fact that personal intelligence did not matter when being ranked in the feudalistic system. This religious diversity allowed people to express themselves more fully and truly, whereas in Europe, there was little room for cultural development within the strict confines of Christianity - the "correct religion. Other religious restraints in the European world limited people to only beliefs based on Christianity, such as the derision of Jews and other faiths. The close watch and strong consequences that the Christian Church enforced on the population of Europe deeply hurt its tolerance for diversity in religion. This included peasants in Europe getting heavily taxed, unlike nobles, knights, and other higher-ranking people, and most receiving few options for jobs. This injustice created a horrible atmosphere for the peasants and a vast sense of negativity all over Europe, evident by the title given to this time period, "The Dark Ages. Due to the lack of education and training in the peasants' lives, superior officials of Europe's feudal hierarchy made most decisions and choices for them. In Europe, peasants were ranked lowest on the feudal scale. This small difference in positioning had a huge consequence.


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