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Feudalism is a term delivered from the latin word “feudum” meaning fief or an estate of land held on behalf of a lord and in return the holder of the land offered military service and other services to the lord. A feudal society is the one in which the basic social and political structure are determined by a practice of fief holding. In other words, feudalism is based on holding of land for renting.

A feudal mode of production was based on lord’s ownership of the land as well as incomplete or partial ownership of the peasants and serfs living on the land. The dependent serfs farmed and ran small economies on the land belonging to the feudal lords. Moreover, the relationship between the land lord and his tenants (serfs) was not only an economic one but also social one. The tenant was a vassal of the lord, that is her or she was bound to the lord by special oath of loyalty. The main characteristics if feudalism mode of production includes:-

(a) There was bounded relationship between the lords and tenants. The lord normally exercised right of jurisdiction in the land which he held as a fief. The landlord was a governor of the fief.

(b) There was antagonistic classes of lords and the serfs. The function was mainly due to exploitative tendencies of the lords. The lords exploited the serfs.

(c) Under feudalism the two dominant classes were feudal lords and tenants. Tenants were attached to the soils for the production of substance as well as surplus. The surplus was consumed mainly by the landlords.

(d) Production was for subsistence i.e. serfs producers mainly for food and less for exchange.

(d) Feudalism in Europe went hand with the building of armies. The armies and other willing class –kings and nobles supported themselves from the produce of their estates. Serfs were the producer in the lords or willing class estates.

(f) The feudal activities were basically agrarian (for food production) although few industries existed, many people were attached to the soil, that is cultivating the soil to earn a living.

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