The Development of European Feudalism
The first elements of European Feudalism appeared in France and Germany
in the 9th and 10th centuries. This coincided with the great
military force organised by the Normans. Elements of the Roman regime
were transferred to European feudalism. Roman villas and their lands
were granted to military leaders on a temporary basis as a reward for
their loyalty to Rome and the emperor. It was also traditional for
Romans to surround themselves with loyal soldiers who provided a
substantial fighting force and offered protection. These ideas were
adopted in Europe. European nobles increased their power from grants of
land from the king in return for military service. European feudalism
The Spread of European Feudalism
The spread of European feudalism grew rapidly. From France feudalism
spread to the major European countries including Germany, Spain, Italy,
Scandinavia, England and the Slavic countries.
The Hierarchy of European Feudalism
The hierarchy of European Feudalism occurred with ease. A natural
pyramid shaped hierarchy had already developed headed by the king, who
was surrounded by nobles. The urge for the great countries of Europe to
fight and acquire new lands and territories led to the hierarchy of
European feudalism and its main advantage which was that men who were
not of noble birth could climb up the Feudalism pyramid of power. If a
man proved himself in battle and as a loyal supporter he was rewarded
with land (called a fief ) In return for the land the loyal supporter or
Vassal would swear an Oath of Fealty and pay homage to his lord or King.
The Effects of European Feudalism
The spread and ultimate effects of
European Feudalism had significant effects on society. From European
feudalism emerged different forms of constitutional government. New
ideas led to the resistance to and defiance of the feudal lord.
The rights of the majorities and the development of early representative
institutions emerged. These were the powerful effects during the decline
of European feudalism.