Definition of feudalism
A social system based on personal ownership of resources and personal fealty between a suzerain (lord) and a vassal (subject). Defining characteristics are direct ownership of resources, personal loyalty, and a hierarchical social structure reinforced by religion.
Examples of feudalism in the following topics:
- As in Italy, the decline of feudalism opened the way for the cultural, social, and economic changes associated with the Renaissance in northern Europe.
- Japanese society moved from being an isolated feudalism to its modern form.
- Feudalism and Warfare Much of Europe was affected by feudalism, in which peasants held tenure from local rulers over the land they farmed in exchange for military service.