Describe two features of early feudal society in France.
Two features of the early feudal society of France were as follows:
- The early feudal society was based on the lordpeasant relationship. The peasants worked in their fields as well as in the fields of the lord. In exchange of labour service, lords provided military security to the peasants. These lords also enjoyed vast judicial rights over the peasants.
- The society was divided into three orders—priests, nobles and peasants. Priests had kept themselves in first order and the nobles in the second order. But in practical, the nobility had a very important role in social processes. It was so because they had control over the land. This control was the result of a custom called ‘vassalage’.
How did long-term changes in population levels affect economy and society in Europe?
Long term changes in population levels affected the economy and society in Europe in the following ways:
- Span of life became longer with better food. By the 13th century, an average European could expect to live 10 years longer than in the 8th century.
- New towns emerged as the centres of commerce.
Why did knights become a distinct group and when did they decline?
There were frequent localised wars in Europe from the ninth century onwards. Good cavalry was required for wars. The amateur peasant-soldiers were not good enough for these wars. This need was fulfilled by the knights. In this way, knights became a distinct group.
Knights also declined with the decline of feudalism in the twelfth century.
What was the function of medieval monasteries?
Monks lived in medieval monasteries. They spent their time in prayer, study and manual labour like farming. They also encouraged and developed art. In this way, medieval monasteries were the centres of religious and cultural activities.
Imagine and describe a day in the life of a craftsman in a medieval French town.
A craftsman in a medieval French town was very skilled in his craft. He was a member of a guild. The guild controlled the quality of the product, its price and its sale. It also took care of social and economic needs of its members.
Compare the conditions of life for a French serf and a Roman slave.
French Serf: French serfs cultivated the land mainly of lords. That is why much of the produce was taken away by the lord. Forced labour (Begar) was also taken from them. They were not allowed to leave the estate without the permission of the lord. Serfs could grind their flour in their lord’s mill, could bake their bread in his oven and could distil wine and beer in his wine presses. These lord also had the right to decide to whom a serf should marry.
Roman slave: A Roman slave had a very hard life. He had to work continuously for several hours. He was chained so that he might not escape. He was not unchained even when he went to sleep. He was forced to bear more and more children because his children were also made slaves when they grew up. However there were some free slaves whose life was better.