Describe the Key Features of the Society of Feudalism and Outline the Key Processes Which Led to the Transition to a Different Type of Society

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Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that existed from around 300 to 1400 AD just as the concept of Capitalism started to form. It is believed that Feudalism ended by the 15th century, around about the period of the European Renaissance - a time when art, literature and science were most prevalent. Several key features played a crucial role in the transition from Feudalism to Capitalism. These features include class, technology, land, trade, religion, and the 14th century crisis. This essay seeks to highlight these key features and explain how they impacted on the transition from a Feudal society to a different type of society – a Capitalist society. After the dissolution of the Roman Empire which concluded the Dark Ages, a ‘Feudal Society’ came into formation. This type of society was based on the ownership of land and feudal social classes reflected how much land people owned. Royalty, like Kings and Queens were in the highest class who were understood to be very powerful and had a lot of money. These very wealthy men and women owned most of the land in the kingdom. Next came the Nobel Lords, such as Dukes and Earls who provided the Kings and Queens with money and advice and would also ensure that a significant number of knights were available to fight at war. They were followed by the Knights who would fight in battle for the King. Next were skilled craftsmen and lastly, the Serfs who worked the land. Under the feudal system, people of lower classes showed their respect to the upper classes by serving them, and for their service they would receive rewards such as the gift of land – normally in the form of a manor (an important unit of territory in feudal society). The social hierarchy of a feudal society is much like the social hierarchy of the capitalist society which we see today. According to Marx, there are two major social
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