Prior to its introduction into Medieval England, Feudalism, a system of government, had been practiced by Normans since their entry into France in 900AD thereabout. As Plucknett explains, the system entailed a complete ownership of the entire land by a king; nonetheless, the king did give a portion of the land to the church besides leasing out the rest on very strict conditions to those people that the king trusted. In 1066, Normans, under the leadership of William 1, invaded and conquered England in the Battle of Hastings. With the death of the then king of England, King Harold 11 and the consequent takeover of England by Normans under the leadership of William 1, the conquest marked the beginning of Feudalism in England, as discussed in the essay.
After takeover, William 1 introduced Feudalism as the new system of governance in England. In order to understand the land well, he commissioned its thorough inspection and a report of the land’s worth was submitted to him. As earlier indicated in the essay, under the system of Feudalism, the King assumed sole ownership of the entire land in the king’s kingdom. In this regard, William 1 assumed sole ownership of the entire English land and subdivided it into large manageable pieces. Some of the land was awarded to the church and the other was put under the management of the Norman soldiers, knights and barons who had helped him win the Battle of Hastings. These land managers would swear an oath of loyalty to the king and were supposed to provide war men to the king in times of battles. The knights, barons and other noble people responsible for land management did also maintain a system of loyalty amongst themselves. According to Round, the original occupants of the English land got no ownership and were subjected to the harsh rule of William the Conqueror.
As evidenced in the essay, Feudalism in England was not popularly introduced by William 1. As such, he had to ensure that his unpopular rule continued in the land without any rebellion. He ensured that all land was under his control through those people who maintained strict loyalty to him. This enabled the system to continue in England for so many years until the establishment of Church of England that brought the system to an end.
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