The uniting of the personal and the land sides of feudalism came long after the conquest, and in a different way.
The temptation to use the larger part of any space allotted to the history of feudalism for a discussion of origins does not arise alone from greater interest in that phase of the subject.
It is almost impossible even with the most discriminating care to give a brief account of completed feudalism and convey no wrong impression.
Feudalism could not be established, however, until the great of the land had adopted them for themselves, and had begun to enter the clientage of others and to hold lands by the precarium tenure.
In this way, Qwing to the dislocation of the ancient aristocracy, to the enlarged jurisdiction,of a power so democratic as the episcopate, and to the increased privileges of the burghs, feudalism received a powerful check in Italy.
Of France, is, like Marignano, interesting in a tactical sense, from the fact that the feudalism of the past and the expert soldiership of the future were strangely mingled.
In studying the origin and growth of political feudalism, the distinction is easy to make.
This is the great social fact - the failure of government to perform one of its most primary duties, the necessity of finding some substitute in private life - extending in greater or less degree through the whole formative period of feudalism, which explains the transformation of institutions that brought it into existence.
Feudal history was always a becoming, always a gradual passing from one stage to another, so long as feudalism continued to form the main organization of society.
Great diversity prevailed everywhere, and we should not be surprised to find some different fact or custom in every lordship. Anglo-Norman feudalism attained a logical completeness and a uniformity of practice which, in the feudal age proper, can hardly be found elsewhere through so large a territory; but in Anglo-Norman feudalism the exception holds perhaps as large a place as the regular, and the uniformity itself was due to the most serious of exceptions from the feudal point of view - centralization under a powerful monarchy.
The French system of taxation was maintained because it brought in ampler revenues; but feudalism, the antiquated legislation and bureaucracy were revived, and all the officers and officials still living who had served the state before the Revolution, many of them now in their dotage, were restored to their posts; only nobles were eligible for the higher government appointments; all who had served under the French administration were dismissed pr reduced in rank, and in the army beardless scions of the aristocracy were placed over the, heads of war-worn veterans who had commanded regiments in Spain and Russia.
See also the articles Titles Of Honour, Peerage, Feudalism, Gentleman, Duke, Count, &C.
Hence arise various mistaken beliefs, such as the belief in revelation which not only injures the moral As feudalism passed from its age of supremacy into its age of decline, its customs tended to crystallize into fixed forms.
The predominance of the nobility in this way became as characteristic of feudalism in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem as the supremacy of the crown was of contemporary feudalism in England; and that predominance expressed itself in the position and powers of the high court, in which the ultimate sovereignty resided.
At the same time, if our text is thus late, it must be remembered that its content gives us the earliest and purest exposition of French feudalism, and describes for us the organization of a kingdom, where all rights and duties were connected with the fief, and the monarch was only a suzerain of feudatories.
It is a struggle between the king and the haute tour: it is a struggle between the aristocratic feudalism of the Franks and the monarchical feudalism of the Normans.
The dissolution of feudalism, the development of towns, the growth of scholasticism, all these and much more have been ascribed to the Crusades, when in truth they were concomitants rather than results, or at any rate, if in part the results of the Crusades, were in far larger part the results of other things.
This is especially clear from clause xvi., which decrees that the title and estates of the lords-lieutenant of counties should not be hereditary, thus attacking feudalism at its very roots, while clause xiv.
The description of this institution which has come down to us from Roman sources of the days when feudalism was beginning is not so detailed as we could wish, but we can see plainly enough that it met a frequent need, that it was called by a new name, the patrocinium, and that it was firmly enough entrenched in usage to survive the German conquest, and to be taken up and continued by the conquerors.
The new German government furnished no better protection from local violence, nor was it able any more effectively to check the practices which were creating feudalism; indeed for a long time it made no attempt to do so.
It brought together the two sides of feudalism, vassalage and benefice, as they were now commonly called, and from this age their union into what is really a single H.
This process had probably already begun in a small way in the growth of institutions which belong to the economic side of feudalism, the organization of agriculture on the great estates.
When this stage was reached the formative age of feudalism may be considered at an end.
When the government of the state had entered into feudalism, and the king was as much senior as king; when the vassal relationship was recognized as a proper and legal foundation of public duties; when the two separate sides of early feudalism were united as the almost universal rule, so that a man received a fief because he owed a vassal's duties, or looked at in the other and finally prevailing way, that he owed a vassal's duties because he had received a fief; and finally, when the old idea of the temporary character of the precarium tenure was lost sight of, and the right of the vassal's heir to receive his father's holding was recognized as the general rule - then the feudal system may be called full grown.
There was actually in fact and practice a larger uniformity than this short list implies, because these principles tended to express themselves in similar forms, and because historical derivation from a common source in Frankish feudalism tended to preserve some degree of uniformity in the more important usages.
These were by no means the only rights and duties which could be described as existing in feudalism, but they are the most characteristic, and on them, or some of them, as a foundation, the whole structure of feudal obligation was built, however detailed.
Ideally regarded, feudalism covered Europe with a network of these fiefs, rising in graded ranks one above the other from the smallest, the knight's fee, at the bottom, to the king at the top, who was the supreme landowner, or who held the kingdom from God.
When this great convention met the king must show himself ready to recognize that great changes have taken place, that feudalism and absolutism have for ever disappeared, and that a new relation between king and people has arisen, which must be loyally observed on both sides for the future.
This change did not occur, however, without some modification of the Roman customs. The comitatus made contributions of its own to future feudalism, to some extent to its institutional side, largely to the ideas and spirit which ruled in it.
In the ceremony of homage and investiture, which is the creative contract of feudalism, the obligations assumed by the two parties were, as a rule, not specified in exact terms. They were determined by local custom.
When conditions so changed that government could free itself from its dependence on the baron, feudalism disappeared as the organization of society; when a professional class arose to form the judiciary, when the increased circulation of money made regular taxation possible and enabled the government to buy military and other services, and when better means of intercommunication and the growth of common ideas made a wide centralization possible and likely to be permanent.