Serfs In The Middle Ages

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Serfs in the middle ages were generally peasant farmers who provided manual labor in their master’s land. The peasants would pay the lord some dues (in the form of labor) in exchange for using part of the lord’s land to generate their own food. These farmers would work in the lands at least three times a week and sometimes longer during the plantation and harvest seasons. The surf was bound to work in a single manor and his status as a serf was passed on to his children, who would then continue to work in that same estate, regardless of whether the land changed ownership. Serfdom was introduced by the Roman Empire and most of the peasants in the Middle Ages were those who took over from their families who worked in Roman slavery. In the Middle…show more content…
They created regulations and codes of conduct to be adhered to by the village members. Their laws pertained to every aspect of village life including intermarriages, working in the fields, the role of women, festivities, and celebrations. The courts typically comprised of 12 representatives who had the responsibility of enforcing the manorial laws. The Decline The system of serfdom saw a series of changes that went a long way in emancipating the serf. The Black Death was one such occurrence that killed almost half of the population in England. This plague left very few people who could work in the field. There was a greater demand for serfs and this opportunity was ideal for serfs to re-bargain the agreements they had with their lords. As such, most serfs became freer and were not tied to the lord’s soil. Moreover, their serfdom was no longer something that their children inherited. The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 also contributed to the decline of serfdom in England. By 1500 the system of serfdom had was in complete decline but was still legal. Queen Elizabeth I freed the serfs who were still tied to their lord’s
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