Feudalism was a combination of legal and military customs in medieval
Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly
defined, it was a way of structuring society around relationships
derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.
Although derived from the Latin word feodum or feudum (fief), then
in use, the term feudalism and the system it describes were not
conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the
Middle Ages. In its classic definition, by François-Louis Ganshof
(1944), feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military
obligations among the warrior nobility revolving around the three key
concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs.
A broader definition of feudalism, as described by
Marc Bloch (1939),
includes not only the obligations of the warrior nobility but also
those of all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clergy, and
the peasantry bound by manorialism; this is sometimes referred to as a
"feudal society". Since the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown's
"The Tyranny of a Construct" (1974) and Susan Reynolds's Fiefs and
Vassals (1994), there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among
medieval historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for
understanding medieval society.
3.1 Classic feudalism
3.3 The "Feudal Revolution" in France
3.4 End of European feudalism
4 Feudal society
5.1 Evolution of the concept
5.2 Karl Marx
5.3 Later studies
5.4 Challenges to the feudal model
6 See also
8 Further reading
8.1 Historiographical works
8.2 End of feudalism
9 External links
There is no commonly accepted modern definition of feudalism, at least
among scholars. The adjective feudal was coined in the 17th
century, and the noun feudalism, often used in a political and
propaganda context, was not coined until the 19th century, from the
French féodalité (feudality), itself an 18th-century creation.
In a classic definition by
François-Louis Ganshof (1944),
feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations
among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of
lords, vassals and fiefs, though Ganshof himself noted that his
treatment related only to the "narrow, technical, legal sense of the
A broader definition, as described in Marc Bloch's Feudal Society
(1939), includes not only the obligations of the warrior nobility
but those of all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clergy,
and those living by their labour, most directly the peasantry bound by
manorialism; this order is often referred to as "feudal society",
echoing Bloch's usage.
Since the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown's "The Tyranny of a
Construct" (1974) and Susan Reynolds's Fiefs and Vassals (1994),
there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval
historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for
understanding medieval society.
Outside a European context, the concept of feudalism is often used
only by analogy (called semi-feudal), most often in discussions of
feudal Japan under the shōguns, and sometimes medieval and Gondarine
Ethiopia. However, some have taken the feudalism analogy further,
seeing feudalism (or traces of it) in places as diverse as Spring and
Autumn period in China, ancient Egypt, the Parthian empire, the Indian
subcontinent and the Antebellum and
Jim Crow American South.
The term feudalism has also been applied—often inappropriately or
pejoratively—to non-Western societies where institutions and
attitudes similar to those of medieval Europe are perceived to
prevail. Some historians and political theorists believe that the
term feudalism has been deprived of specific meaning by the many ways
it has been used, leading them to reject it as a useful concept for
Herr Reinmar von Zweter, a 13th-century Minnesinger, was depicted with
his noble arms in Codex Manesse.
The term "féodal" was used in 17th-century French legal treatises
(1614) and translated into English legal treatises as an
adjective, such as "feodal government".
In the 18th century, Adam Smith, seeking to describe economic systems,
effectively coined the forms "feudal government" and "feudal system"
in his book
Wealth of Nations
Wealth of Nations (1776). In the 19th century the
adjective "feudal" evolved into a noun: "feudalism". The term
feudalism is recent, first appearing in French in 1823, Italian in
1827, English in 1839, and in German in the second half of the 19th
The term "feudal" or "feodal" is derived from the medieval Latin word
feodum. The etymology of feodum is complex with multiple theories,
some suggesting a Germanic origin (the most widely held view) and
others suggesting an
Arabic origin. Initially in medieval Latin
European documents, a land grant in exchange for service was called a
beneficium (Latin). Later, the term feudum, or feodum, began to
replace beneficium in the documents. The first attested instance
of this is from 984, although more primitive forms were seen up to
one-hundred years earlier. The origin of the feudum and why it
replaced beneficium has not been well established, but there are
multiple theories, described below.
The most widely held theory was proposed by Johan Hendrik Caspar Kern
in 1870, being supported by, amongst others, William
Stubbs and Marc Bloch. Kern derived the word from
a putative Frankish term *fehu-ôd, in which *fehu means "cattle" and
-ôd means "goods", implying "a moveable object of value."
Bloch explains that by the beginning of the 10th century it was common
to value land in monetary terms but to pay for it with moveable
objects of equivalent value, such as arms, clothing, horses or food.
This was known as feos, a term that took on the general meaning of
paying for something in lieu of money. This meaning was then applied
to land itself, in which land was used to pay for fealty, such as to a
vassal. Thus the old word feos meaning movable property changed little
by little to feus meaning the exact opposite: landed property.
Another theory was put forward by Archibald R. Lewis. Lewis said
the origin of 'fief' is not feudum (or feodum), but rather foderum,
the earliest attested use being in Astronomus's Vita Hludovici
(840). In that text is a passage about
Louis the Pious
Louis the Pious that says
annona militaris quas vulgo foderum vocant, which can be translated as
"Louis forbade that military provender (which they popularly call
"fodder") be furnished.."
Another theory by Alauddin Samarrai suggests an
Arabic origin, from
fuyū (the plural of fay, which literally means "the returned", and
was used especially for 'land that has been conquered from enemies
that did not fight'). Samarrai's theory is that early forms of
'fief' include feo, feu, feuz, feuum and others, the plurality of
forms strongly suggesting origins from a loanword. The first use of
these terms is in Languedoc, one of the least Germanic areas of Europe
and bordering Muslim Spain. Further, the earliest use of feuum (as a
replacement for beneficium) can be dated to 899, the same year a
Muslim base at
Fraxinetum (La Garde-Freinet) in
established. It is possible, Samarrai says, that French scribes,
writing in Latin, attempted to transliterate the
Arabic word fuyū
(the plural of fay), which was being used by the Muslim invaders and
occupiers at the time, resulting in a plurality of forms – feo, feu,
feuz, feuum and others – from which eventually feudum derived.
Samarrai, however, also advises to handle this theory with care, as
Medieval and Early Modern Muslim scribes often used etymologically
"fanciful roots" in order to claim the most outlandish things to be of
Arabian or Muslim origin.
Harold Sacramentum Fecit Willelmo Duci
Feudal land tenure
Feudal land tenure in England
Feudalism, in its various forms, usually emerged as a result of the
decentralization of an empire: especially in the
which lacked the bureaucratic infrastructure[clarification needed]
necessary to support cavalry without the ability to allocate land to
these mounted troops. Mounted soldiers began to secure a system of
hereditary rule over their allocated land and their power over the
territory came to encompass the social, political, judicial, and
These acquired powers significantly diminished unitary power in these
empires. Only when the infrastructure existed to maintain unitary
power—as with the European monarchies—did feudalism begin to yield
to this new power structure and eventually disappear.
Feudalism in England,
Feudalism in the Holy Roman
Examples of feudalism
François-Louis Ganshof version of feudalism
describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the
warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords,
vassals and fiefs. A lord was in broad terms a noble who held land, a
vassal was a person who was granted possession of the land by the
lord, and the land was known as a fief. In exchange for the use of the
fief and the protection of the lord, the vassal would provide some
sort of service to the lord. There were many varieties of feudal land
tenure, consisting of military and non-military service. The
obligations and corresponding rights between lord and vassal
concerning the fief form the basis of the feudal relationship.
Homage of Clermont-en-Beauvaisis
Before a lord could grant land (a fief) to someone, he had to make
that person a vassal. This was done at a formal and symbolic ceremony
called a commendation ceremony, which was composed of the two-part act
of homage and oath of fealty. During homage, the lord and vassal
entered into a contract in which the vassal promised to fight for the
lord at his command, whilst the lord agreed to protect the vassal from
Fealty comes from the Latin fidelitas and denotes the
fidelity owed by a vassal to his feudal lord. "Fealty" also refers to
an oath that more explicitly reinforces the commitments of the vassal
made during homage. Such an oath follows homage.
Once the commendation ceremony was complete, the lord and vassal were
in a feudal relationship with agreed obligations to one another. The
vassal's principal obligation to the lord was to "aid", or military
service. Using whatever equipment the vassal could obtain by virtue of
the revenues from the fief, the vassal was responsible to answer calls
to military service on behalf of the lord. This security of military
help was the primary reason the lord entered into the feudal
relationship. In addition, the vassal could have other obligations to
his lord, such as attendance at his court, whether manorial, baronial,
both termed court baron, or at the king's court.
France in the late 15th century: a mosaic of feudal territories
It could also involve the vassal providing "counsel", so that if the
lord faced a major decision he would summon all his vassals and hold a
council. At the level of the manor this might be a fairly mundane
matter of agricultural policy, but also included sentencing by the
lord for criminal offences, including capital punishment in some
cases. Concerning the king's feudal court, such deliberation could
include the question of declaring war. These are examples; depending
on the period of time and location in Europe, feudal customs and
practices varied; see examples of feudalism.
The "Feudal Revolution" in France
In its origin, the feudal grant of land had been seen in terms of a
personal bond between lord and vassal, but with time and the
transformation of fiefs into hereditary holdings, the nature of the
system came to be seen as a form of "politics of land" (an expression
used by the historian Marc Bloch). The 11th century in France saw what
has been called by historians a "feudal revolution" or "mutation" and
a "fragmentation of powers" (Bloch) that was unlike the development of
feudalism in England or Italy or Germany in the same period or
later: Counties and duchies began to break down into smaller
holdings as castellans and lesser seigneurs took control of local
lands, and (as comital families had done before them) lesser lords
usurped/privatized a wide range of prerogatives and rights of the
state, most importantly the highly profitable rights of justice, but
also travel dues, market dues, fees for using woodlands, obligations
to use the lord's mill, etc. (what
Georges Duby called
collectively the "seigneurie banale"). Power in this period became
This "fragmentation of powers" was not, however, systematic throughout
France, and in certain counties (such as Flanders, Normandy, Anjou,
Toulouse), counts were able to maintain control of their lands into
the 12th century or later. Thus, in some regions (like Normandy
and Flanders), the vassal/feudal system was an effective tool for
ducal and comital control, linking vassals to their lords; but in
other regions, the system led to significant confusion, all the more
so as vassals could and frequently did pledge themselves to two or
more lords. In response to this, the idea of a "liege lord" was
developed (where the obligations to one lord are regarded as superior)
in the 12th century.
End of European feudalism
Further information: Abolition of feudalism in France
Feudalism itself decayed and effectively disappeared in most of
Western Europe by about 1500, partly since the military power
of kings shifted from armies consisting of the nobility to
professional fighters (effectively reducing the nobility's power), but
also because the
Black Death reduced the nobility's hold on the lower
classes. The system lingered on in parts of Central and Eastern Europe
as late as the 1850s. Russia finally abolished serfdom in
However, even when the original feudal relationships had disappeared,
there were many institutional remnants of feudalism left in place.
Georges Lefebvre explains how at an early stage of the
French Revolution, on just one night of August 4, 1789, France
abolished the long-lasting remnants of the feudal order. It announced,
"The National Assembly abolishes the feudal system entirely." Lefebvre
Without debate the Assembly enthusiastically adopted equality of
taxation and redemption of all manorial rights except for those
involving personal servitude — which were to be abolished without
indemnification. Other proposals followed with the same success: the
equality of legal punishment, admission of all to public office,
abolition of venality in office, conversion of the tithe into payments
subject to redemption, freedom of worship, prohibition of plural
holding of benefices.... Privileges of provinces and towns were
offered as a last sacrifice.
Originally the peasants were supposed to pay for the release of
seigneurial dues; these dues affected more than a fourth of the
farmland in France and provided most of the income of the large
landowners. The majority refused to pay and in 1793 the obligation
was cancelled. Thus the peasants got their land free, and also no
longer paid the tithe to the church.
Main article: Manorialism
Depiction of socage on the royal demesne in feudal England, c. 1310
The phrase "feudal society" as defined by Marc Bloch offers a
wider definition than Ganshof's and includes within the feudal
structure not only the warrior aristocracy bound by vassalage, but
also the peasantry bound by manorialism, and the estates of the
Church. Thus the feudal order embraces society from top to bottom,
though the "powerful and well-differentiated social group of the urban
classes" came to occupy a distinct position to some extent outside the
classical feudal hierarchy.
The idea of feudalism was unknown and the system it describes was not
conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the
Medieval Period. This section describes the history of the idea of
feudalism, how the concept originated among scholars and thinkers, how
it changed over time, and modern debates about its use.
Evolution of the concept
The concept of a feudal state or period, in the sense of either a
regime or a period dominated by lords who possess financial or social
power and prestige, became widely held in the middle of the 18th
century, as a result of works such as Montesquieu's De L'Esprit des
Lois (1748; published in English as The Spirit of the Laws), and Henri
de Boulainvilliers’s Histoire des anciens Parlements de France
(1737; published in English as An Historical Account of the Ancient
Parliaments of France or States-General of the Kingdom, 1739). In
the 18th century, writers of the Enlightenment wrote about feudalism
to denigrate the antiquated system of the Ancien Régime, or French
monarchy. This was the
Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment when writers valued reason
Middle Ages were viewed as the "Dark Ages". Enlightenment
authors generally mocked and ridiculed anything from the "Dark Ages"
including feudalism, projecting its negative characteristics on the
current French monarchy as a means of political gain. For them
"feudalism" meant seigneurial privileges and prerogatives. When the
French Constituent Assembly abolished the "feudal regime" in August
1789 this is what was meant.
Adam Smith used the term "feudal system" to describe a social and
economic system defined by inherited social ranks, each of which
possessed inherent social and economic privileges and obligations. In
such a system wealth derived from agriculture, which was arranged not
according to market forces but on the basis of customary labour
services owed by serfs to landowning nobles.
Karl Marx also used the term in the 19th century in his analysis of
society's economic and political development, describing feudalism (or
more usually feudal society or the feudal mode of production) as the
order coming before capitalism. For Marx, what defined feudalism was
the power of the ruling class (the aristocracy) in their control of
arable land, leading to a class society based upon the exploitation of
the peasants who farm these lands, typically under serfdom and
principally by means of labour, produce and money rents. Marx thus
defined feudalism primarily by its economic characteristics.
He also took it as a paradigm for understanding the
power-relationships between capitalists and wage-labourers in his own
time: ‘in pre-capitalist systems it was obvious that most people did
not control their own destiny — under feudalism, for instance, serfs
had to work for their lords.
Capitalism seems different because people
are in theory free to work for themselves or for others as they
choose. Yet most workers have as little control over their lives as
feudal serfs’. Some later Marxist theorists (e.g. Eric Wolf)
have applied this label to include non-European societies, grouping
feudalism together with Imperial Chinese and pre-Columbian Incan
societies as 'tributary'.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries,
John Horace Round
John Horace Round and
Frederic William Maitland, both historians of medieval Britain,
arrived at different conclusions as to the character of English
society before the
Norman Conquest in 1066. Round argued that the
Normans had brought feudalism with them to England, while Maitland
contended that its fundamentals were already in place in Britain
before 1066. The debate continues today, but a consensus viewpoint is
that England before the Conquest had commendation (which embodied some
of the personal elements in feudalism) while William the Conqueror
introduced a modified and stricter northern French feudalism to
England incorporating (1086) oaths of loyalty to the king by all who
held by feudal tenure, even the vassals of his principal vassals
(Holding by feudal tenure meant that vassals must provide the quota of
knights required by the king or a money payment in substitution).
In the 20th century, two outstanding historians offered still more
widely differing perspectives. The French historian Marc Bloch,
arguably the most influential 20th-century medieval historian.,
approached feudalism not so much from a legal and military point of
view but from a sociological one, presenting in Feudal Society (1939;
English 1961) a feudal order not limited solely to the nobility. It is
his radical notion that peasants were part of the feudal relationship
that sets Bloch apart from his peers: while the vassal performed
military service in exchange for the fief, the peasant performed
physical labour in return for protection – both are a form of feudal
relationship. According to Bloch, other elements of society can be
seen in feudal terms; all the aspects of life were centered on
"lordship", and so we can speak usefully of a feudal church structure,
a feudal courtly (and anti-courtly) literature, and a feudal
In contradistinction to Bloch, the Belgian historian François-Louis
Ganshof defined feudalism from a narrow legal and military
perspective, arguing that feudal relationships existed only within the
medieval nobility itself. Ganshof articulated this concept in
Qu'est-ce que la féodalité? ("What is feudalism?", 1944; translated
in English as Feudalism). His classic definition of feudalism is
widely accepted today among medieval scholars, though questioned
both by those who view the concept in wider terms and by those who
find insufficient uniformity in noble exchanges to support such a
Although he was never formally a student in the circle of scholars
Marc Bloch and
Lucien Febvre that came to be known as the
Georges Duby was an exponent of the Annaliste
tradition. In a published version of his 1952 doctoral thesis entitled
La société aux XIe et XIIe siècles dans la région mâconnaise
(Society in the 11th and 12th centuries in the
Mâconnais region), and
working from the extensive documentary sources surviving from the
Burgundian monastery of Cluny, as well as the dioceses of Mâcon and
Dijon, Duby excavated the complex social and economic relationships
among the individuals and institutions of the
Mâconnais region and
charted a profound shift in the social structures of medieval society
around the year 1000. He argued that in early 11th century, governing
institutions—particularly comital courts established under the
Carolingian monarchy—that had represented public justice and order
in Burgundy during the 9th and 10th centuries receded and gave way to
a new feudal order wherein independent aristocratic knights wielded
power over peasant communities through strong-arm tactics and threats
Challenges to the feudal model
In 1974, U.S. historian Elizabeth A. R. Brown rejected the label
feudalism as an anachronism that imparts a false sense of uniformity
to the concept. Having noted the current use of many, often
contradictory, definitions of feudalism, she argued that the word is
only a construct with no basis in medieval reality, an invention of
modern historians read back "tyrannically" into the historical record.
Supporters of Brown have suggested that the term should be expunged
from history textbooks and lectures on medieval history entirely.
In Fiefs and Vassals: The
Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted (1994),
Susan Reynolds expanded upon Brown's original thesis. Although some
contemporaries questioned Reynolds's methodology, other historians
have supported it and her argument. Reynolds argues:
Too many models of feudalism used for comparisons, even by Marxists,
are still either constructed on the 16th-century basis or incorporate
what, in a Marxist view, must surely be superficial or irrelevant
features from it. Even when one restricts oneself to Europe and to
feudalism in its narrow sense it is extremely doubtful whether
feudo-vassalic institutions formed a coherent bundle of institutions
or concepts that were structurally separate from other institutions
and concepts of the time.
The term feudal has also been applied to non-Western societies in
which institutions and attitudes similar to those of medieval Europe
are perceived to have prevailed (See Examples of feudalism). Japan has
been extensively studied in this regard. Friday notes that in the
21st century historians of Japan rarely invoke feudalism; instead of
looking at similarities, specialists attempting comparative analysis
concentrate on fundamental differences. Ultimately, critics say,
the many ways the term feudalism has been used have deprived it of
specific meaning, leading some historians and political theorists to
reject it as a useful concept for understanding society.
Richard Abels notes that "Western Civilization and World Civilization
textbooks now shy away from the term 'feudalism'."
English feudal barony
Feudalism in the Holy Roman Empire
Nulle terre sans seigneur
Scottish feudal barony
Statutes of Mortmain
Feudalism in Pakistan
Mandala (political model)
^ feodum – see The Cyclopedic Dictionary of Law, by Walter A.
Shumaker, George Foster Longsdorf, pg. 365, 1901.
^ Noble, Thomas (2002). (36)chapter-format= requires chapter-url=
(help). The foundations of Western civilization. Chantilly, VA:
Teaching Co. ISBN 978-1565856370.
^ a b c d e f
François Louis Ganshof (1944). Qu'est-ce que la
féodalité. Translated into English by
Philip Grierson as Feudalism,
with a foreword by F. M. Stenton, 1st ed.: New York and London, 1952;
2nd ed: 1961; 3d ed: 1976.
^ a b c d e f "Feudalism", by Elizabeth A. R. Brown. Encyclopædia
^ a b c d Brown, Elizabeth A. R. (October 1974). "The Tyranny of a
Feudalism and Historians of
Medieval Europe". The American
Historical Review. 79 (4): 1063–88. doi:10.2307/1869563.
^ a b c Reynolds, Susan, Fiefs and Vassals: The
Reinterpreted. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994
^ a b c "Feudalism?", by Paul Halsall. Internet
^ a b "The Problem of Feudalism: An Historiographical Essay", by
Robert Harbison, 1996, Western Kentucky University.
^ Charles West, Reframing the Feudal Revolution: Political and Social
Transformation Between Marne and Moselle, c. 800–c. 1100 (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2013).
^ a b Bloch, Marc, Feudal Society. Tr. L.A. Manyon. Two volume.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961 ISBN 0-226-05979-0
^ a b "Reader's Companion to Military History". Archived from the
original on 2004-11-12.
^ Cf. for example: McDonald, Hamish (2007-10-17). "Feudal Government
Alive and Well in Tonga". Sydney Morning Herald. ISSN 0312-6315.
^ "Feudal (n.d.)". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved September
^ Cantor, Norman F. The Civilization of the Middle Ages. Harper
^ a b c d Fredric L. Cheyette. "FEUDALISM, EUROPEAN." in New
Dictionary of the History Of Ideas, Vol. 2, ed. Maryanne Cline
Horowitz, Thomas Gale 2005, ISBN 0-684-31379-0. pp. 828–831
^ a b c d e f g h i Meir Lubetski (ed.). Boundaries of the ancient
Near Eastern world: a tribute to Cyrus H. Gordon. "Notices on Pe'ah,
Fay' and Feudum" by Alauddin Samarrai. Pg. 248–250, Continuum
International Publishing Group, 1998.
^ "fee, n.2." OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2017. Web. 18
^ H. Kern, 'Feodum', De taal- en letterbode, 1( 1870), pp. 189-201.
^ William Stubbs. The Constitutional History of England (3 volumes),
2nd edition 1875–78, Vol. 1, pg. 251, n. 1
^ a b c Marc Bloch. Feudal Society, Vol. 1, 1964. pp.165–66.
^ a b c Marc Bloch. Feudalism, 1961, pg. 106.
^ Archibald R. Lewis. The Development of Southern French and Catalan
Society 718–1050, 1965, pp. 76–77.
^ a b Alauddin Samarrai. "The term 'fief': A possible
Medieval Culture, 4.1 (1973), pp. 78–82.
^ a b Gat, Azar. War in Human Civilization, New York: Oxford
University Press, 2006. pp. 332–343
Feudalism Archived 2012-02-09 at the Wayback Machine., by
Carl Stephenson. Cornell University Press, 1942. Classic introduction
^ Encyc. Brit. op.cit. It was a standard part of the feudal contract
(fief [land], fealty [oath of allegiance], faith [belief in God]) that
every tenant was under an obligation to attend his overlord's court to
advise and support him; Sir Harris Nicolas, in Historic Peerage of
England, ed. Courthope, p.18, quoted by Encyc. Brit, op.cit., p. 388:
"It was the principle of the feudal system that every tenant should
attend the court of his immediate superior"
^ Chris Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, p. 522-3.
^ a b Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, p. 518.
^ Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, p.522.
^ Wickham, p.523.
^ Elizabeth M. Hallam. Capetian France 987–1328, p.17.
^ "The End of Feudalism" in J.H.M. Salmon, Society in Crisis: France
in the Sixteenth Century (1979) pp 19–26
^ Charles McLean Andrews (1912). Short history of England.
^ John Merriman, A History of Modern Europe: From the
the Age of Napoleon (1996) pp 12–13
^ Jerzy Topolski, Continuity and discontinuity in the development of
the feudal system in Eastern Europe (Xth to XVIIth centuries)" Journal
of European Economic History (1981) 10#2 pp: 373–400.
^ Lefebvre, Georges (1962). The French Revolution: Vol. 1, from Its
Origins To 1793. Columbia U.P,. p. 130.
^ Robert Forster, "The survival of the nobility during the French
Revolution." Past and Present (1967): 71–86 in JSTOR.
^ Paul R. Hanson, The A to Z of the
French Revolution (2013) pp
^ Robert Bartlett. "Perspectives on the
Medieval World" in Medieval
Panorama, 2001, ISBN 0-89236-642-7
^ Richard Abels. "Feudalism". usna.edu.
^ a b c d e f g Philip Daileader, "Feudalism", The High Middle Ages,
Course No. 869, The Teaching Company, ISBN 1-56585-827-1
^ Peter Singer, Marx: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2000) [first published 1980], p. 91.
^ Reynolds, p 11
^ John Whitney Hall, "
Feudalism in Japan—a reassessment,"
Comparative studies in Society and History (1962) 5#1 pp: 15–51 in
^ Karl Friday, "The Futile Paradigm: In Quest of
Feudalism in Early
Medieval Japan," History Compass 8.2 (2010): 179–196.
^ Richard Abels, "The Historiography of a Construct: 'Feudalism' and
Medieval Historian." History Compass (2009) 7#3 pp: 1008–1031.
Bloch, Marc, Feudal Society. Tr. L.A. Manyon. Two volumes. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1961 ISBN 0-226-05979-0
Ganshof, François Louis (1952). Feudalism. London; New York:
Longmans, Green. ISBN 0-8020-7158-9.
Guerreau, Alain, L'avenir d'un passé incertain. Paris: Le Seuil,
2001. (Complete history of the meaning of the term.)
Poly, Jean-Pierre and Bournazel, Eric, The Feudal Transformation,
900–1200., Tr. Caroline Higgitt. New York and London: Holmes and
Reynolds, Susan, Fiefs and Vassals: The
Reinterpreted. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994
Skwarczyński, P. "The Problem of
Feudalism in Poland up to the
Beginning of the 16th Century." The Slavonic and East European Review
(1956): 292–310. in JSTOR
Abels, Richard. "The Historiography of a Construct: 'Feudalism' and
Medieval Historian." History Compass (2009) 7#3 pp: 1008–1031.
Brown, Elizabeth, 'The Tyranny of a Construct:
Medieval Europe', American Historical Review, 79 (1974),
Cantor, Norman F., Inventing the Middle Ages: The Lives, Works, and
Ideas of the Great Medievalists of the Twentieth century. Quill, 1991.
Friday, Karl. "The Futile Paradigm: In Quest of
Feudalism in Early
Medieval Japan," History Compass (2010) 8#2 pp: 179–196. DOI:
Harbison, Robert. "The Problem of Feudalism: An Historiographical
Essay", 1996, Western Kentucky University. online
End of feudalism
Bean, J.M.W. Decline of English Feudalism, 1215–1540 (1968)
Davitt, Michael. The fall of feudalism in Ireland: Or, The story of
the land league revolution (1904)
Hall, John Whitney. "
Feudalism in Japan—a reassessment." Comparative
studies in Society and History (1962) 5#1 pp: 15–51; compares Europe
Nell, Edward J. "Economic Relationships in the Decline of Feudalism:
An Examination of Economic Interdependence and Social Change." History
and Theory (1967): 313–350. in JSTOR
Okey, Robin. Eastern Europe 1740–1985: feudalism to communism
Herbert, Sydney. The Fall of
Feudalism in France (1921) full text
Mackrell, John Quentin Colborne. The Attack on
Eighteenth-century France (Routledge, 2013)
Markoff, John. Abolition of Feudalism: Peasants, Lords, and
Legislators in the
French Revolution (Penn State Press, 2010)
Sutherland, D.M.G. "Peasants, Lords, and Leviathan: Winners and Losers
from the Abolition of French Feudalism, 1780–1820," Journal of
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Feudalism.
"Feudalism", by Elizabeth A. R. Brown. Encyclopædia Britannica
"Feudalism?", by Paul Halsall. Internet
Medieval Feudalism, by Carl Stephenson. Cornell University Press,
1942. Classic introduction to Feudalism.
"The Problem of Feudalism: An Historiographical Essay" at the Wayback
Machine (archived February 26, 2009), by Robert Harbison, 1996,
Western Kentucky University.
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