Medieval English Society

Topics: England, Germanic peoples, Middle Ages Pages: 3 (1148 words) Published: May 3, 2013
Discuss medieval English society. How were women and children treated during this period? What was life like in the towns and in the countryside? What was life like in medieval London? In the beginning of the medieval period, life was marked by war, famine, and death. People lived day to day, and the majority of the English citizen’s main concern was survival. Many people were tied to the land in a structure known as feudalism. This unfair system kept the peasants poor and dependant, while solidifying the wealth of the elite minority. During the latter half of the medieval period, life in England changed. Cities like London grew enormously. People experienced social mobility. A new outlook on life in England was developed as people became more enlightened. They viewed themselves as part of a larger social structure. The political, social, religious, and economic structures in England changed significantly during the medieval time in England. During the early medieval period those who did not live on estates as serfs, were scattered around the country in small communities. Most of the English people lived in extreme poverty. Natural disasters and disease was a normal part of life. Famines were not unusual. People relied heavily on the commons and natural resources in order to survive. Berries, nuts, wheat, fish, and small game consumed the diets of the English. Subsistence farming was the standard practice for most households. Those that worked on the estates of rich landlords could barely survive because they had to give a large percentage of their crop yields to the owners. The Domesday records illustrate a powerful feudal system that guaranteed landlords reliable labor at essentially no cost. The minority elite held all of the wealth, and political power. They also owned most of the land throughout England. Social mobility for the peasants was nearly impossible. They were seen as inferior beings consequently, they did not have a voice in politics. Peasants...
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