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Word Count: 496
Feudalism was a system of living in Western Europe It started during the years 900 and 1000 Here is a brief description of feudal Europe After Charlemagnes empire Europe was again divided into many kingdoms Most of the kings had little control of their kingdoms As a result hundreds of vassals-with such titles as prince baron or duke- became independent rulers of their own fiefs These noblemen ruled their fiefs through a form of government called feudalism Under feudalism the nobleman who controlled the land also had a political judicial economic and military power Each nobleman collected taxes and fines acted as judge in legal disputes and maintained an army knight with his own territory He also supervised the farming of the manors on his fief The fief holders were the ruling class in Europe for more than 400 years A typical member of the ruling class under the feudalism system was a nobleman a knight a vassal and a lord and all at the same time He was a nobleman because he was born into the noble class He became a knight when he decided to spend his life as a professional warrior He became a vassal when he promised to serve the king or other important person in return for a fief Finally he became a lord when he gave part of his own land to persons who promised to serve him Suppose Sir John a nobleman was a vassal of William the Conqueror King of England and Duke of Normandy When Sir John pledged his loyalty to William he also promised to supply the King with 10 knights In turn William gave 20 manors to John as a fief If the King called his army to battle John had to go and take 9 other knights with him A lord and a vassal had rights and duties toward each other
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