Phyllis Brady Access to Humanities A
The Effects of The Feudal System on English Society in The Medieval Society
The idea of Feudalism was first introduced in 1066, after William the conqueror defeated the
Leader of the English, King Harold at the battle of Hastings.
The Feudal system was a simple structure comprising of the upper classes such as Kings, the Church
and landed classes and the lower classes such as the villeins and the peasants. The Feudal system
was restrictive one, as you were born into a class that was the only class that you would ever belong
to, the role and duties would follow you through all stages of life. A minority of individuals did
escape their fate but this was usually under a specific set of circumstance. Bravery for some brought
great wealth, for others it meant an early grave, as a consequence of this would have meant that all
the years of training would have been in vain. This brought the person shame and stigma. Regardless
of whether you were a Knight or a peasant you would have been affected socially, economically and
financially. Medieval life was one of constant peril, for all but few individuals, commonly these few
belonged to the church.
The power and influence of the church, would have gone unquestioned by any group and individual.
The church was made of two sections, the secular church and the regular church. The regular would
have been made of Monks and Nuns and the secular would have been made up of Bishops and
Cardinals. The only person who would the churches authority would have been the King. This allowed
the church some opportunities to manipulate and exploit royalty for its own benefit. In order to
sustain its own power and influence the church would only have give advice that would keep the Kings
trust, for example the Bishop or Cardinal would advise that they had communication with God and
that God wanted clergy to continue to find favour with the King, this would mean that the church
would remain politically, socially and financially strong as the churches role would never be
questioned. It could also be argued that ...