Feudalism: The Rights and Responsibilities of Lords and Vassals

1444 Words 6 Pages
“I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation, every possession, a duty. -John D. Rockefeller American tycoon, businessman, and philanthropist
Rights and Responsibilities are brothers that work together to preserve each other. Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory. Responsibilities are the social forces that binds one to the courses of action demanded by that force. Rights are latent without responsibilities to redress them. During the medieval Europe the
…show more content…
Europe rapidly disintegrated into small centers of influence, and each individual lord had to govern his own estate and took upon himself the powers of the state in order to do it. Feudalism consisted of the sworn reciprocal obligations of two men, a lord and a vassal, backed up economically by their control of the principal of wealth: land. The vassal received his in trust from his lord in return for military service and for various stated financial aids; the man that had hitherto been free, surrendered his land to lord or bishop in return for protection, and received back as a fief. A mutual relationship existed between the lord and the vassal. These consisted of the sworn reciprocal obligations of two men, a lord and a vassal, backed economically by their control of the principal form of wealth: land. The lord and vassals have the duty to have each other’s back, “it is allowable to anyone, without punishment, to support his lord, if any one assails him, and to obey him in all legitimate ways, except in theft, murder, and in all such things as are conceded to anyone to do, and are reckoned infamous by the laws,” and “the lord ought to likewise equally with counsel and with aid; and he may come to his man’s assistance in his vicissitudes in all ways, without forfeiture.”
The Ceremonies of Homage and the Oath of Fealty

Related Documents