Feudalism

Discipline: Political Science

A medieval theory in which society was deemed to be held together by ties of loyalty and obligation between persons in a hierarchy. The essential currency was land and military service, the former held in return for the latter.

Feudalism was a hierachy of lords and vassals, and it was possible to be both in relation to different persons.

Those at the bottom of the hierachy (serfs) had an excess of duties over rights.

Source:
David Miller, ed., The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought (Oxford, 1987)

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