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Feudalism: Europe vs. Japan

Feudalism: Europe vs. Japan Just like a democracy, a monarchy or a dictatorship, feudalism is another form of government used to rule large groups of people. Feudalism took form around the 850’s A.D. when a strong central government was not working well. According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, feudalism means: a political and economic system of Europe from the 9th to about the 15th century, based on the relation of lord to vassal as a result of land being held on condition of homage and service. This basically what the government was. Lords and nobles gave land to other nobles called vassals in return loyalty, ransom, (if they were captured in war) an army, taxes and other services when they were asked. This system of government was used in Europe and Japan during the middle ages (850’s – 1500’s A.D). Feudalism in Europe Charlemagne, the son of Pepin, came to the throne of the Carolingian dynasty in France in 768 A.D. He wanted to revive the Roman Empire and Pope Leo III crowned him “Emperor of the Romans.” He ruled until 814, but his son, Louis the Pious could not keep the empire together. His three sons, Lothair, Charles and Louis did no better as the empire split into three parts. Outside invaders finally put an end to Frankish rule. An anarchy was the new government in France. However, small local governments began to rise, and by 900 A.D., feudalism was the way of life in France. By the 1000’s A.D., feudalism was the government all over Europe. The system was complicated, but it worked. Basically, the people gave up their personal freedom in return for protection. People of a very high social status became lords. They usually were tenants of the king (there was a king, but he had little power). They owned a lot of land, which they could not rule by themselves, so they gave it up to other nobles. The person receiving the land from a lord was known as a vassal. ...

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