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Medieval Social Hierarchy

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Ellie Shane

on 29 November 2012

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Transcript of Medieval Social Hierarchy

Medieval Social Hierarchy Based on the simulation, what institution was above the social pyramid in medieval times? The Church The Church was considered the highest institution in medieval society, because it represented God. All subjects had to submit to the wishes of God, and all social classes had to pay a tithing, or religious tax, to the church each year. Image of the Pope Tithing The religious tax paid by all subjects to the church. This was usually about 10% of the yearly earnings of every citizen. Based on the simulation, what social class had the most power after the church and was at the top of the social pyramid? The Monarch The Monarch, most often the King, had the most influence of any individual in the medieval society. The king was the ruler of all the land and lower social classes had to pay taxes to him to prove their loyalty. After the king, what social class was next on the social pyramid? The Vassals Vassals were wealthy landowners. They would often own large parts of the king's land and have a manor. They would pay a yearly tax to a noble as a way to prove their loyalty. To make their yearly salary, and to make the payments to the noble, the vassals collected payments from workers and peasants who lived in their manors. Manor A manor was the lord's estate. The manor included the lord's house, a smaller village where farmers, merchants, and craftsmen worked and lived, and the large fields were peasants and serfs worked. The Nobles Nobles were wealthy individuals who looked over certain parts of the King's land. Lower social classes made payments to the Nobles to earn their loyalty. Having the loyalty of a noble was critically important in medieval times. Below Nobles came what social class in the social pyramid of medieval society? Knights On the same social class level as vassals were knights. Knights were considered lower nobility. Knights pledged their loyalty to a lord and protected the land. Code of conduct Knights had to pledge the chivalric code. This code emphasized the ideals of knighthood, such as honor and courtly love. This is where the term chivalry comes from. Below the knights and the vassals, the workmen of the village in the manor were next on the social pyramid. Workmen included craftsmen, merchants, and farmers. During the simulation, who was the lowest social class? Peasants In medieval times, peasants were the lowest social class on the social pyramid. Peasants were field laborers and often very poor. In addition to having very little money, peasants would pay vassals for protection. Because they didn't have money, these payments were usually made in crops that they had farmed. Also known as Serfs The Social hierarchy in medieval times was very rigid. Your social class was usually inherited, and there was little opportunity of social mobility, or moving between the social classes.
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