feudalismfyo͞o´dəlĭzəm [key], form of political and social organization typical of Western Europe from the dissolution of Charlemagne's empire to the rise of the absolute monarchies. The term feudalism is derived from the Latin feodum, for
fief,and ultimately from a Germanic word meaning
cow,generalized to denote valuable movable property. Although analogous social systems have appeared in other civilizations, the feudalism of Europe in the Middle Ages remains the common model of feudal society.
Sections in this article:
- History of Feudalism in Europe
- Other Feudal Systems
- Characteristics of European Feudalism
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