Feudal society, Science

The Feudal Society:

The economic basis of  the feudal system was land, and the village was its economic unit. The feudal economy was dependent on local agricultural production  and a scatte~ed  handicraft industry. In  the villages, peasants or serfs shared the land and work. But  they were forced to yield part of  the produce or labour  to their lords in  the form of  rent, taxes or feudal service. Usually, a lord owned one or more villages or land  in  several villages. The serfs were obliged to maintain their lords and they were not allowed to leave the land on which they worked. This obligation of  feudal service, that  is, of work exacted by  force or by custom backed by force, is  the characteristic of  the feudal system. What distinguished the serfs from the slaves of classical times is that unlike the latter who were owned by  the slaveowners, the former were free men and had a secure tenure to cultivate land. Though  the serfs were nominally free, their condition was not much better than that of  slaves. However, social pressures on them had been somewhat reduced. This feudal order lasted until about  the seventeenth century in Europe. The period from the tenth century to about the fifteenth century is usually called the Middle Ages in Europe. In this period, the Church was the centre of power. It provided a common basis of authority for all Christendom. It was also an  instrument for intellectual expression. All intellectual activity was carried on by people who were part of  the Church. Thus, the Church dominated all walks of  life. Therefore, the clergy had  to be  trained to think and write, in  order that they may be  able to defend the faith and take up missionary work. At  first, this need was met by setting up cathedral schools. By  the twelfth century, these had grown into universities. The first university  to come up in  this period was at Paris, in France, in  1160. It was followed by  the founding of  Oxford University  in  1167 and Cambridge University  in  1209 in Britain. Then came the universities in Padua (1222), and Naples (1224) in  Italy, Prague (1347) in Czechoslovakia, and several others. These universities were mainly for training the clergy.  

Posted Date: 9/27/2012 8:48:07 AM | Location : United States

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