Feudalism presentation info

March 2, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, European History, Renaissance (1330-1550), Feudalism
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Feudalism by: Steven, Jake and Ryan When and Where Feudalism was a political system employed in Europe (mainly England) during approximately 800-1400 CE, revolving around land ownership and class structure Main Features of the Feudal Legal System Feudalism wasn’t just a system of law; it governed and shaped many aspects of medieval life. In the system land owners (called lords) gave out pieces of their land (called fiefs) to people (known as vassals) for usage in exchange for their loyalty and services to the lord. Lords were the absolute figures of authority over their land, with the only people having more influence and power being the royalty themselves. The ways in which a vassal could pay his lord differ and could be anything from military service, to food, to money. Since lords had absolute power and rule over their vassals this lead to the legal aspect of the system. This created a hierarchy or ranking based on title. Any time there was a wrongdoing on a lord’s land the vassals could choose to take it up in feudal court with their lord. The accused and their accuser would appear before their lord and have him make a decision and punishment for the guilty. Since law was decided by lords it was not consistent and punishments for crimes could vary greatly across the country, sentencing dependant on the lord’s disposition. If the accused was found innocent the accuser would get the punishment for the crime and both would be imprisoned before the trial. The system lords used to reach verdicts in cases was often that of trials, consisting of things such as trial by oath or trial by ordeal. Trial by Oath Trial by oath required the defendant to swear his innocence upon the bible, letting god take hand in the case. It was not always an option and was picked based on the circumstances of the case. Oftentimes in these cases the accused required “oath-helpers” to attest to his innocence and good nature upon the bible as well. This system was effective at the time due to the strong influence religion had and the fear of divine retribution. It is important to note oath-helpers were a precursor to things like character witnesses we see today. Trial by Ordeal The other method for deciding cases was trial by ordeal. In this the accused went through some sort of torture and left his fate in the hands of god. If the accused had survived the ordeal he was deemed innocent, if not he was guilty. Common ordeals included: trial by fire, trial by hot water, trial by cold water, and trial by combat. Trial by Fire In trial by fire a hot object is placed into the defendant’s hand the wound is left to heal for 3 days, if it is healed he is innocent, if infected he is guilty

Trial by Hot Water Similar to trial by fire, in trial by hot water the accused's hand is submerged in boiling water, the wound is left to heal for 3 days, if it is healed he is innocent, if infected he is guilty. Trial by Cold Water In trial by cold water the defendant is tied and thrown in water, if he sinks he is innocent and if he floats he is guilty Trial by Combat In trial by combat the accused and the accuser fight to the death to determine the innocent one Examples of Laws Feudalism didn't necessarily create any laws or punishments of its own, but rather it was a new way of caring out the law, where identifying the guilty and administering punishment were the responsibility of the lords who owned the land. Since the lords who owned the land decided the law and the punishment for each offence. Impact on Canadian Legal System The ideal of having someone else represent you, like in trial by combat were the participants can chose to have another person fight on their behalf, this has evolved into having a lawyer represent you and your case today. The feudal system formed the basis for our modern day property laws, as a lord's vassals had to donate an amount of their crop or produce to the lord or lords who owned the land and to the church.

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