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The Middle Ages
The Middle Ages began after the fall of the Roman Empire. The Middle Ages can be defined as a time of suffering and feudalism. The label that best describes the era between 500 and 1400 in Europe is the Age of Feudalism.
The Middle Ages should be labeled as the Age of Feudalism because of the absences of imperial authority that was reinstated by a local political organization also known as the feudal system. Also, its decentralized system dominated and influenced the political, economic and social aspects of Western Europe.
The feudal system was established on obligations between landlords in their vassals and on loyalty. Everyone but the king had a ruling lord above them to whom they owed loyalty, military service and ransom if needed in exchange for land and protection. For defense and safety, peasants in the Middle Ages formed small communities around a central lord or master. A lot of people lived on a manor, which consisted of the castle, church, village and surrounding farmland. These manors were isolated, and would have occasional visits from, pilgrims while they are on their way to the Crusades, peddlers, or soldiers from other fiefdoms.
After the fall of the Roman empire, its territories in Europe had to protect themselves from outside invaders. To do this, local kingdoms traded land to those who were willing to send knights to protect the kingdom. In document two John of Toul is a vassal to the count and countess of Champagne and takes the Homage Oath ” I, John of Toul, make known that I am the liege man of the count and countess of Champagne….I will aid the count of Champagne in my own person, and will send the count and countess of Champagne the knights whose service I owe to them for the fief which I hold of them….”.
Without the service and loyalty from the vassals to the landlord, the feudal system would fall apart, leaving the territory defenseless against invaders and rival kingdoms.


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