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Word Count: 518
Feudalism developed in the late 9th and 10th centuries In these two centuries there was a steady decline in society Many factors led to this decline The fighting between Charlemagnes heirs was the start of this descent into feudalism The halt in trade due to the Muslim-Arab wars contributed immensely to this new system of government When Charlemagne died in 814 he left his empire to his sole surviving heir Louis the Pious Louis was a very religious man His enemies took this fact as a sign of weakness Louis divided his empire between his 3 sons Lothar the eldest was to be emperor and he would supervise the territory of his brothers His brothers were not satisfied with this arrangement so civil war breaks out between the brothers This caused the weakening of the central government To gain power the nobles would fight for whichever brother was winning In return for their services these nobles were given land This led to the development of the strong man When the war was over the counts and dukes were the only real winners The result of this is the king loses his power So youre left with little or no central government and a lot of nobles who rule over their own little kingdoms From this developed local government and it takes over where the central government left off The Carolingian kings were to weaken by all the in fighting that they could not defend the empire So the aristocracy assumed the responsibility for defense Common people turned to the lords for their protection Therefore in the 9th and 10th century the great aristocratic families increased their power in their own territories Political power had become a private heritable property for the great counts and lords This was feudalism as a government Now around the year 900 the Vikings began invading The people had no form of protection against this new threat
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