The majority of us have not thought about feudalism since our days of high school social studies. Your side in this debate will likely depend on your knowledge of political ideologies. Everyone’s belief in government standards is different. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of feudalism.
The Pros of Fuedalism
1. Every member of society, including the lowest class, gets to feel like they are important and valued. When even the poorest members of a society are able to feel as if they are a key part of it, this leads to increased morale among the lower class and gives the upper class valuable peace of mind, as they know that civil unrest is at a minimum.
2. Richer citizens are able to increase the amount of land they own with relative ease. Being able to expand land ownership without having to clear it with other people makes life much simpler for the upper class. Other forms of society do not believe in giving their citizens the same level of freedom.
3. Once a person owns their own property, they are able to exercise ultimate control over what takes place there. They can hire serfs and peasants to work the land and pay them whatever rate seems fair to them. Controlling every aspect of what takes place on your own land is an advantage that is not available in most forms of government and it provides landowners with an unparalleled level of freedom.
The Cons of Fuedalism
1. A king’s power is essentially unlimited in a feudal society. This is due to the fact that a king is considered to have all of the power and they are thought of as gods to the lower class. With no other gods existing above them, this leads to unchecked power, which tends to corrupt even the most sane, incorruptible people.
2. Since kings were able to make rules without receiving any sort of say from the rest of society, this allows them to raise taxes to whatever level they see fit. The kings have every last drop of power and the proletariat class has no chance of fighting back. Important decisions about the direction of a feudal society are made without any sort of input from serfs and peasants.
3. The system is set up for the rich to prosper and keep themselves in power, without taking the time to consider the wants and needs of the classes below them. As a result, the peasant/serf classes were often forced to do without important necessities, including food, water and even shelter. When the poor are not able to meet their basic needs, this tends to lead to the breakdown of a society, no matter who is in charge.