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Word Count: 524
Feudalism is not an easy term to define The use of the word feudalism was not a termthat is created by scholars in the seventeenth century well after the medieval age Thusthe term is filled with confusion and inaccuracy In a way the term feudalism tries tocondense all the aspects of a complex society into one term By creating the termscholars tried to condense the society into connections to the feud or estate granted tovassus by lords The terms vassus and lord meant different things to different groups ofpeoples in different areas and during different times Thus it is hard define precisely whatfeudalism is Scholars however have two differing descriptions about how to viewIn one view that of Marc Bloch viewed feudalism as the complete societypolitical military social and economic He saw all of these issues centering aroundlordship Karl Marx also took this perspective with one major difference he centered onpeasants Marxisms main emphasis is that of the plight of the worker thus in his view offeudalism only the peasants contributed to society In another major view feudalism is largely a political term The political power infeudalism these individuals claim was treated as an individual possession and held bythose who owned the land Thus the government was ruled by the lords and royal officialswho ruled over their land Under the lords were their bodyguards or knights Belowthese knights were the retainers or vassals Just as there is confusion over the precise definition of feudalism there isconfusion over its origins Some scholars claim that with the invention of the stirrup thebodyguards or retainers became more important Those that were trained in using thestirrup to spear his enemy became valuable to the lords who made these men take oathsof allegiance to them This started the dependency of the lower class on the aristocraticIn the more widely held modern view Martel purchased the loyalty of subjectswith land or other wealth These retainers became the vassals These vassals were
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