5.5 Feudalism and the Manorial system

5.5 Feudalism and the Manorial system
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Slide 1: Slide
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This lesson contains 23 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 1 video.

time-iconLesson duration is: 45 min

Items in this lesson

5.5 Feudalism and the Manorial system

Slide 1 - Slide

Video assignment
1. Watch the following movieclip closely
2. During the video, questions will appear that you need to answer
Good luck!

Slide 2 - Slide


Slide 3 - Video

What is the name of this medieval sytem?

Slide 4 - Open question

What do the lords give to their familymembers?

Slide 5 - Quiz

What do the familymembers give in return for these fiefs?

Slide 6 - Quiz

What is the name of the economical system in the Middle Ages?
The manorial system
The Golden Age
The industrial system
The political system

Slide 7 - Quiz

How are the people that work on the manors called?

Slide 8 - Quiz

Learning goal:
After this lesson you will be able to explain what the manorial system and the feudal system is

Slide 9 - Slide

Let's continue..
  1. Read pages 115-117 in your textbook
  2. Done reading? Look at the slides and check if you understand everything
  3. If you have any questions, write them down.

Slide 10 - Slide

  • The king gave large areas of lands to his most important lords, the nobles, as a fief.
  • The nobles now controlled the land as vassals to the king and were allowed to keep its produce.
  • In return for the land, the vassal had to pledge his fealty to his lord. 
  • If the vassals were not loyal, the king could take back his land at any time.
  • Some vassals lived at the court of their lord, they became military specialists. They were called knights.
  • In the 12th century it was considered an honour to become a knight.

Slide 11 - Slide

  • Many Christian lords also gave land to bishops and abbots.
  • By the end of the 8th century, landowners started to manage their lands using the manorial system.
  • A manor was a large piece of adjoining land made up out of two parts: a part on which the lord or vassal lived and a part on which farmers lived.
  • The domain was surrounded by the land of the lord.  Further away were forests and barren lands, used to collect wood and develop into farmland.

Slide 12 - Slide

  • Farmers depended entirely on their lord; they were called serfs
  • Serfs were bound to the manor. They could not leave the manor to settle elsewhere without the permission of their lord.
  • Serfs had many obligations. They had to give away a big part of their farming produce to the lord of the manor. Serfs also had to perform services for their lord.
  • In return the serfs received protection and the right to farm on the lands, 
  • Study source 5.37 in your textbook

Slide 13 - Slide


  • In many cases the manor was self-sufficient. This means that farmers produce everything they need themselves
  • Many of the products that were needed as necessary were grown or made by the serfs.
  • Trade took place on a very small scale; farmers sold their surplus on markets.

Slide 14 - Slide

Manorial system
The Manorial system did not always consist of only two parts. In reality, there were many variations of the manorial system. 
Sometimes the land was split into many pieces, in that case the serfs depended less on their lords.  Sometimes the distance between the serfs and the domain was too great, it became impossible to work on the land of the lord. 
Besides manors, there were also places were free farmers lived. Free farmers did their work without involvement of a lord and focused mostly on livestock.

Slide 15 - Slide

  • Heavy weather and war violence led to crop failure.
  • Greedy lords still demanded their payment of rent. This could cause a food shortage.
  • If there were no reserves from previous harvests it would cause a famine.
  • Charlemagne made a law that obliged the vassals to help the poor. 

Slide 16 - Slide

Key words
Feudal system: medieval government system based on the bond between a lord and his vassal.
Fief: the land a lord lent to his vassal.
Nobles: the most important lords that served under a kind
Pledge fealty: to swear loyalty
Knights: vassals who became milirary specialists
Manorial system: system in which lords provided security to their serfs in return for their services.
Manor: large piece of adjoining land.
Domain: Large farmhouse where the lord lived.
Serfs: servants who depended entirely on their lord and were not allowed to leave the domain.
Self-sufficient: when people are able to produce everything they need themselves.

Slide 17 - Slide

Pledge fealty; true or false?
Vassals had to:
A promise to stay loyal to the lord
Provide military services in times of war
Take care of the lord's children
Give the lord council when requested

Slide 18 - Drag question

Land of the lord; true or false?
The land of the lord had:
Workshops such as a mill or brewery
Forests and marshland
Fields where animals could graze
A shop where people could buy supplies

Slide 19 - Drag question

Obligations of a serf; true or false?
A serf had to:
Pay rent in kind or products
work the fields of the lord and tend to the animals
Cook the lord's dinner
build and repair buildings, weave clothes

Slide 20 - Drag question

Write down three things you have learned this lesson

Slide 21 - Open question

Write down any questions you still have

Slide 22 - Open question

Slide 23 - Slide