How did Feudalism End?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The End of Feudalism was aided by the socioeconomic changes in Europe throughout the 16th century. The legal, economic, military, cultural, and political practices that flourished in medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries are collectively referred to as feudalism, also known as the feudal system.

End of Feudalism

The decline of feudalism happened due to many socioeconomic reasons. Some of the reasons for the end of feudalism are listed below.

  • The lower classes demanded higher wages for their labor, which reduced the nobility’s power over them.
  • Because the aristocracy hired professional armies rather than maintaining standing armies made up of peasants by the 1500s, feudalism’s military characteristics vanished.
  • The nobility’s power and hold over the lower classes was also reduced after the plague epidemic or Black death.

Facts about Feudalism

Here are a few facts to help you understand the feudal system and its impact on Europe.

  • In the 9th and 10th centuries, the feudal system initially arose in the Frankish territories.
  • It can be safely said that feudalism emerged from the condition of society arising from the disintegration of Roman institutions and the further disruption of Germanic inroads and settlements.
  • The feudal system was, however, a step closer to organization and centralization in areas unaffected by Roman customs than its introduction in regions previously ruled by Roman institutions.
  • The system utilized and modified already-existing institutions.
  • The Roman villa was important economically because of its unusual form of rental, the precarium, a temporary grant of property that the grantor could revoke at any time.
  • An increase in poor landowners who gave their land to a protector and then received it back as a precarium led to the creation of the manorial system.
  • Like in England, the manorial system might have developed from the Germanic village.


How did Feudalism End?

The socioeconomic changes that occurred in Europe during the 16th century contributed to the decline of feudalism. By the 1500s, the nobility had abandoned the practice of maintaining standing armies of peasants in favor of hiring professional armies. Moreover, the lower classes started demanding higher wages after the plague or Black death.

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