Compare and Contrast Feudalism

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Feudalism arose in a time after the dark ages when the governments of many countries couldn't protect their people from invasions or make them feel secure. When faced with this, people banded together either in warrior families or, in Europe, secured land from the king who distributed that land in exchange military service. The people who weren't powerful enough at the time lived in the lower class, bound to the land that they worked. Two prominent two regions involved in feudal government were Western Europe and Japan. While each of these areas used the style of government named feudalism, historians argue over a clear definition of feudalism that applies to each of these locations. On one hand, both Japanese and Western European warriors had a code of conduct, or set of rules they had to follow, each of these regions also shared a similar social hierarchy scale and in both societies people normally exchanged land for military service. On the other hand, the influence of religion on feudalism in each of the two regions varied, the way warriors were payed for their service was different and the power of merchants in each of the communities differed in each location. Be it Chivalry or Bushido, if one was to become a warrior in a feudalistic society one had to first agree to a set of rules about fighting and how to behave. Some of these rules might include protecting weakness, or defending ones church, and always backing up justice. However, one of the more important teachings from this code was to follow the feudalistic system. As long as knights and other chivalrous people followed this code, the higher up leaders like the lords and shōgun could easily keep order. Speaking of lords and shōgun, each of these two regions had simil... ... middle of paper ... ... feudalistic society that they belonged to, in both Japan and Western Europe, exchanged military service and loyalty for land. On the other hand there were multiple differences in the practices of feudalism between Japan and Western Europe including, influence of religion, social mobility of the warrior class and the power of the merchants. Understanding how feudalism worked can help us to understand how certain societies formed into what they are today. Karl Marx once described that capitalism was the economic situation coming after feudalism. Capitalism is now one of the most used social market models in Western Europe. Based on this theory, we might be able to predict that over time, a non capitalistic society that had just emerged and is feudalistic, or an existing society that has just crumbled down to feudalism, could later on form a capitalistic social order.
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