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due on 6/22
Identify and explain some of the key features/characteristics of European feudalism in the Middle Ages.
Here are some of the questions that you should consider as part of your assignment, but it is not required that you specifically answer these; it is most important that you really focus on the above assignment question.
- you should cite primary sources, i.e., surviving feudal documents, as much as possible.
- It is best to focus on three or four characteristics, no more than that, so that you can cover each topic in some depth. One important feature of feudalism that you will want to treat is the relationship between lord and vassal.
- Why did feudalism develop after the fall of the Roman empire?
- How did the practice of feudalism vary across Europe?
- Did the characteristics of feudalism change over time?
- Yes, feudalism is complicated, but it is important to understand the feudal system as many scholars have seen feudalism as an important prerequisite for the development of western democracy.
As you read feudal documents, you will come across some terms that you are probably unfamiliar with. As a historian, that happens all the time, and that is why we have dictionaries, encyclopedias and other reference materials. You will find these three websites helpful for your work on this assignment.
- Feudal Terminology
- Feudal, Medieval and Castle Terms
- Glossary of Feudal Terms
As you study feudal sources, you might be surprised at how orderly medieval life was structured. There were clear legal and social obligations for all elements of the population. Here are two features that you might come across in feudal documents:
- Justice was administered regularly and frequently at the local level; usually by the nobles who lived in the area.
- Most court disputes involved property ownership.
a three-page paper (no longer than that), complete with footnotes (100 points). You will not need images, but you will need citations of quoted evidence. You do not need a works cited page. You should use as many sources as you can in the paper, which should:
- be double-spaced with one-inch margins, font size 10 or 12
- contain an introduction paragraph that directly responds to the assigned question and that indicates the specific points to follow in the group's paper
- use direct, quoted material to support your points (footnote the sources)
- contain a last, conclusion paragraph