European And Japanese Feudalism Essay

683 words - 3 pages

Compare/Contrast European and Japanese Feudalism

Feudalism was based on the exchange of land for military service. It was a political system in place in Europe and Japan for many centuries and was used to rule large groups of people just like a democracy or a monarchy. Although feudalism in Europe began before feudalism in Japan, they were both very similar to one another. Feudalism in Europe began to form in the late 800’s after the division of Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire and the height of feudalism was during the 11th century and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries. Feudalism in Japan was not influenced by Europe because during feudal Japan, it was isolated from the rest of ...view middle of the document...

The highest of social status was the emperor, who played the role as a religious leader and had little political power. The top of the warrior class was the shogun, the military leader, and loyal to the shogun were the samurai and the ronin that followed. And at the bottom of the class were peasants, artisans, and merchants. In Europe, strict division of social classes-nobility, church officials, peasants, and serfs- were common to all feudal societies. The main ruler in Europe was the king, queen, or emperor. The nobility was essentially a military class, with the knight as the typical warrior. The caste system in both feudal societies illustrated who feudalism targeted in the Middle Ages.

In both Japan and Europe, the rule was hereditary, except the shogun in which the position had to be taken by force. In Europe, obligatory relations were stronger than in Japan. In Japan, feudalism is characterized by strong familial obligations. In contrast to Europe, feudal relations between vassal and lord in Japan were highly irregular. In Japanese feudalism, a vassal...

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