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This 5 page paper examines the impact of urbanization on the established system of feudalism in the Middle Ages. The Magna Carta, the growth of cities, the centralization of governmental power all led toward the ultimate collapse of feudalism. Bibliography lists six sources.
5 pages (~225 words per page)
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its demise. Throughout the Middle Ages hierarchy and authority were accepted as important to social stability, and local lords retained control of resources and people; what was changeable, between
places and over time, was the interaction between legitimate authority and actual power. (Thompson) Medieval societies throughout Europe had many common values and norms. For example, agricultural production was
of the greatest importance, as was the dominance of warrior aristocracies and acceptance and support for the hierarchy developed and based on the feudal system. However, much of the
fundamental nature of status and relationships, and the extent and location of control over landed property, varied from place to place, fundamental change was engendered in the ultimate progression toward
urbanization. Political structures changed. Property relations became far more convoluted and yet, less flexible. Attitudes of servitude and loyalty lessened as former worker peasants made their way
to the cities and towns to become shopkeepers, domestic servants, and other types of urban tradesmen. Without the tacit agreement and support of the peasants to work the land, the
lords of the fiefdoms saw both their power and control steadily eroded. Prior to the development of commercialism and urban expansion, there had been no other options available to
the peasants other than to work at the discretion of their lords and "masters." (Bennett) During the 11th century (1066), the last Old English king Edward the
Confessor died in January 1066 without an heir. Harold, Earl of the West Saxon earldom, and William, Duke of Normandy, had about equal claims to the throne. Williams troops killed
Harold in the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066; William was crowned King on Christmas day. It took about four years for William to complete a series of campaigns