Feudal Europe Essay

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There have been several key time periods that have changed the face of society such as; the hunter gatherer nomadic lifestyle to agriculture, classical antiquities, the Middle Ages renaissance, reformation to modern times. In a lecture for History and Social Change at the University of Abertay Dundee, W Mcneish describes history as being a “contested terrain with the views of the historian giving their perception of events”. This essay will discuss the key features of the feudal period and the key processes leading to the transition of this society from a sociological perspective covering; the rise of feudalism, the hierarchical structure of feudal Europe, the feudal mode of production, urban life, the role of religion and finally, the …show more content…
Bartlett (2008) intimates that if the Lords dominated the law of the land, the Church controlled the morality of the medieval min, constantly interfering in people’s lives from birth to death “Spewing forth fire and brimstone from the pulpit” creating fear with myth and superstition. Women were vilified as the root of evil since it was they who caused original sin. Women were devoid of rights and effectively the property of their fathers then husbands.

Harman (2008) alludes to exploitation of the Serfs as the Lords requisite. He extorted maximum dues. However, some of the surplus was invested in new technology such as, a new design of iron plough, stiff harness for horses making ploughing faster and cattle grazing on and fertilising the land. The mechanical water mill and the introduction of crop rotation escalated production by 50%. Food then could be traded as a commodity for goods. Other advances were; the fly wheel, rudders for boats, eye glasses, stirrups, crossbow, gunpowder, the wheel barrow and pedal loom.

By contrast Anderson (1978) indicates how the towns were bustling with merchants and craftsman controlling the urban economy. Regulatory guilds were introduced from the 12th century which had some civic power. However, the feudal lord was still
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