FEUDALESIMO IN INGHILTERRA
Feudalism in England.At the time of the Norman invasion, England was an agricultural country. The villages were populated by peasants who lived in small cottages, clustered round the manor house, a stone building where the lord lived. The other stone building of the village was the church. The villagers were divided into three classes: the freemen, the villeins and the cottagers. The freemen were the most privileged and they were legally free. The villeins were attached to the soil because they couldn’t live lord's house without permission and they constituted work force. The third class were the cottagers who were much inferior. They worked in their spare time as wage-earnes for the lord. The middle ages saw the birth of yeoman. The terms was used to denote the servants of a king or nobleman and later applied to artisans or tradesmen.
LA SOCIETA' FEUDALE IN INGHILTERRA
Women gradually grew in importance. Some noblewomen held economic and political power, administering feuds and even kingdoms. Aristocratic women could also exercise considerable power by their possession of land. This often made them passive objects of exchange in marriage contracts, but once the marriage took place they could enjoy certain economic rights and independence.
Another field was religion, where monasteries were often run by abbesses. In the convent were educated and in turn provided education for the upper class girls. Besides being busy with family jobs, medieval women practice other professions. Some inns on the road, worked as nurse, some even acted as medical.
In the course of time the feudal period began to decline. There was two great events of the age, the Black Death and the Hundred Years’ War. The Black Death, which ravaged all of western Europe and touched England in 1348, carried off more than one third of the population. The social and economic effects were enormous. The reduce number of villeins and forced the lord to pay free labourers high wages. Some landlords substituted pasture for arable land, this increasing the export of wool and expanding cloth manufacture in England. This made the conditions of the villeins even worse. In addition to this, parliament fixed scales of wages and prices by the statute of labourers. This limited the wages of peasants and they rebelled. The merchant class lived in town which were bigger village. The birth of a town recognized by a charter, a document granted by the king. Craftsmen in turn decided to protect their own rights by establishing trade organizations called crafts guilds. The members of a guild had the right to produce craft in town.