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Word Count: 504
The feudal system was a way of government based on obligations between the lord or king and vassal The king gave large estates to his friends and relatives These estates known as the fief included houses barns tools animals and serfs or peasants The king also promised to protect the vassal on the field or in the courts In return the nobles who were granted the fiefs swore an oath of loyalty to the king The nobles promised never to fight against the king They also had to give the king whatever he asked for The king may ask for men to fight a war money or advice The nobles also gave the king a place to stay when he traveled Each of the kings vassals was also a lord or tenant in chief with vassals of his own Each vassal would be an overlord to those he granted fiefs while remaining a vassal of the king The subtenants in turn subdivided the land Sometimes there were many levels of lords who had vassals under them The most important promise of the vassal to the lord was the military The vassal usually served as a knight This service lasted about 40 to 60 days a year If they actually had to fight in a war they usually did so for two months If there was no war the knights did 40 days of training at the castle There were only a few nobles Most people approximately nine-tenths were serfs who worked the land for a noble The serf was bound to the land If the noble sold the land the serf went with it This was not much better than being a slave A peasant village had between ten to sixty families Each family lived in a hut made out of wood or straw The floor was covered with straw or reeds Beds were made from a pile of dried
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