The word feudal comes from the Latin feodum, a system used in medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries based on holding the land in exchange for services and labor. In this system, the land was exchanged for sovereignty and protection, sovereignty over land became a hereditary possession and an asset to the families of the noble lords. This system emerged due to the decentralization of empires, the scholar Adam Smith used this term to refer to social and economic systems that can be defined by inherited social ranks, which are possessed by inherent economic and social privileges. Discussed below are some of the Pros and cons attributed to Feudalism.
Pros of Feudalism.
1. Preservation of the society: Feudalism was crucial in preserving the community as it saved ordinary men from foreign invasion. Doing this helped to create a healthy society. Also, feudal lords helped save humanity from the mistreatment and tyranny of the Kings.
2. Prevention of slavery: The role of Feudalism when it came to preventing the spread of slavery remains unquestionable. All ordinary men were under the protection of the noble lords, and this reason alone stopped the trading of enslaved people, which could have led to conflicts.
3. Display of gallantry: Chivalry was a display of courtesy, especially to the women, through the readiness to defend people from attacks. Under FeudalismFeudalism, the noble displayed gallantry by protecting the typical person from the stronger men of the community.
4. Prevalence of Peace in the society: The feudal system brought a reign of peace, stability, and unity in the community between the noble lords and their vassals. This promoted economic and social stability, providing growth for the societies.
Cons of Feudalism.
1. Division of the society: The biggest demerit that came with FeudalismFeudalism was the division of society into two classes. The feudal class of the nobles and the peasants. Due to this division, the noble lords were amassing wealth and power, which widened the margin between these lords and their peasant subjects. In eventuality, this division resulted in hate which cast a dark cloud that obscured society’s progress.
2. Loss of nationalism and political unity: Feudalism created hurdles that discouraged the creation of sovereign national territories due to war that the noble lords were instigating. Secondly, it led to the loss of political unity in Europe due to the wars and conspiracy being waged among the lords, which completely shattered the hope of forming sovereign nations.
3. Despicable living conditions for the peasants: Peasants under this system were not allowed to own any lands unless the novel lords gave them. This system was creating deplorable conditions since the peasants could barely survive on what was being provided by their lords.
4. Execration between the lords and the peasants: The Feudal system was comprised of mass exploitation and mistreatment of the peasants; this ensured that the peasants remained wholly dependent on their noble masters, meaning that a peasant could not have a life of their own. This phenomenon resulted in a strained relationship between the noble lords and their peasant counterparts.