This resources looks at the Oath's that Feudal Lords made with the peasantry. This resource is a way for students to understand why the feudal system was in place and why it remained apart of Europe for centuries.
Citizens of Europe during the Middle Ages were very concerned with safety and protection from external enemies. Consequently, small communities formed around local lords or masters. Most people lived on a manor, which consisted of a castle, a church, a village, and the surrounding farmland. Manors were usually isolated, although they occasionally would receive visits from peddlers, pilgrims on their way to the Crusades, soldiers from other fiefdoms, or others. In this “feudal” system, the king awarded land grants, or “fiefs,” to the most important nobles, barons, and church bishops. In return, they provided the king with political, economic, and military support. The lowest class of feudal society was the peasants, who were also known as “serfs” or “villeins.” In exchange for living and working on his land, known as the “demesne,” the lord offered the peasants his protection.