Was feudalism & manorialism practiced outside of Medieval Europe?

Oct 2017
357
America ??
Was feudalism & manorialism ever practiced outside of medieval Europe, in ancient as well as modern history? Is there much evidence for it?
Feudalism & manorialism in its strict sense refers to bonded hierarchical system obligations & duties & land divisions, seems to be unique only to medieval Europe, but there doesn’t appear to be much evidence of feudalism outside of medieval Europe, before or after Medieval Europe. Were serfs & villeins exclusive to medieval Europe? Were peasants elsewhere free, or more free than those in medieval Europe? (geographically & chronologically/time speaking). One potential issue I can envision is peasants potentially leaving in large numbers their lands & whoever governs them for various reasons like either unpopular rule, a more attractive prospect living elsewhere, or other local crises etc. isn’t that a main reason for feudalism’s & manorialism’s development in the first place? Regardless, peasants as well as virtually everyone across societies had minimal obligations to others, usually superiors, taxes usually in crops were minimum expectations & requirements.
& what exactly happened to feudalism & manorialism, what exactly was its fate?
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,382
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Pre-modern Japan is often described as feudal. Its system differed a little from Europe, but in essence, it involved landholding in return for loyalty anf obligations.
 
Oct 2017
357
America ??
Pre-modern Japan is often described as feudal. Its system differed a little from Europe, but in essence, it involved landholding in return for loyalty anf obligations.
Do you know whether pre-modern Japan had serfs & villeins in the European sense?

What about for Ancient Greece & Rome, along with elsewhere in the Ancient as well as modern period world?
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,947
Australia
Parthia was probably the first. When the Parthians took over the Persian Nesaean stud for their heavy cavalry, they also reorganised their nobility and their society "feudal-style" so that it had the wealth, land, and training time required for supplying these units.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,382
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Do you know whether pre-modern Japan had serfs & villeins in the European sense?
Peasants were considered bound to their village. They were not free to travel or move. They weren't specifically bound in service to the particular lord but in practise, that certainly was the case. They were essentially property of the domain, but not the personal property of the daimyo - they couldn't be bought and sold but they had obligations, and in certain periods, were liable to be drafted into the military although that ended in teh Edo period, when social status was fixed - once a farmer, always a farmer.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,624
Dispargum
In Europe, the practice of binding peasants to the soil actually began in the late Roman period and became more sophisticated over time. Medieval serfdom was more advanced than Roman serfdom. The practice of having serfs work on the lord's land a certain number of days each year was a Medieval invention. This is what I understand to be manoralism. Roman serfdom just had the serfs pay rent to the landlord which might be in cash or as a share of the crop. Manoralism was probably more efficient in terms of yield per acre because the lord's domain land was larger than the peasants' holdings of just a few acres per family.

For most of the Roman period, serfdom had not yet been invented. Large estates were first worked by slaves, then later by unbound (free) peasants.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,249
Sydney
Feudalism with farmers tied to the soil is a common form of pre-industrial society
it presuppose a weak central government , leaving judicial authority in the hand of the local lord
the farmer has the rightful use of a plot of land for him and his descendant in exchange for part of his harvest

the system break down when the royal authority impose its organ of laws and when the economy switch to cash ,
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,249
Sydney
it certainly has a long record and is a fall back situation if everything go pear shape