Comparative feudalism: feudalism in Western Europe, Japan and the Ottoman Empire. Pimentel, George en_US
dc.contributor.department History en_US 2014-06-20T17:38:27Z 2014-06-20T17:38:27Z 2002 en_US
dc.description Adviser: Ronald Messier. en_US
dc.description.abstract Over the centuries, the term feudalism has come to encompass a variety of definitions. This has led to numerous works concentrating on the subject of feudalism, with a majority of them focusing on western European feudalism. However, a definitive definition of feudalism that encompasses all of the variations and regional complexities does not exist. en_US
dc.description.abstract Utilizing both primary and secondary sources, this dissertation examines the historiography of feudalism with particular emphasis on the Western European feudal institutions of vassalage and benefice and the concept of private jurisdiction. I will begin with Western Europe because most historians agree that feudalism did exist in Western Europe although they may differ on their approaches in concluding that it did exist. en_US
dc.description.abstract A fully feudalized society will be said to exist if it meets all of the following criteria: (1) the government is based on personal relationships (vassalage), (2) individuals providing governmental services receive benefices (fief) in lieu of fixed monetary income, (3) individuals provide basic governmental services (protection and law) on a local level, and (4) the local lords who provide basic governmental services view these services as personal possessions. These elements do not have to progress in a linear fashion. Although all need to be present, it is possible for different regions to develop the component parts in different order. I will then examine the extent to which Japanese and Ottoman institutions possess these characteristics and compare them to Western Europe by using a sliding scale of feudalism. en_US
dc.description.abstract The sliding scale of feudal development identifies three degrees of feudalization. Each level is characterized by the existence of feudal institutions within a society. The scale begins with a non-feudal period lacking any elements of feudalism. Level 1 is a pre-feudal period in which some elements of feudalism exist, but not all. Level 2 is a partial-feudal society in which vassalage, fief, and local rule exist, but the society lacks the private jurisdiction aspect necessary in a fully developed feudal society. Level 3 is a fully feudalized society containing all institutions and necessary relationships incorporated into the society, including the inheritance of fiefs. Each region will be analyzed to determine how its society fits into the feudal scale, and then will be compared to the other regions to postulate the level of feudalization for each society at any given time. en_US
dc.description.abstract It is my contention that feudalism defies definition in terms of a rigid model. Its complex nature requires a definition that is broad enough to take into account regional and cultural differences. Rather than a model with a fixed set of requirements as its base, a sliding scale could demonstrate both regional differences and similarities. At any particular time and place, a government can be more or less feudal. This type of sliding scale will be beneficial in that it can show comparisons across cultural lines and at the same time highlight differences in similar institutions. en_US
dc.description.abstract Feudal government evolved out of necessity, not from design. Feudalization is a process. It is something that is in the process of becoming more or less rather than something that is. Therefore, an accurate definition must not only consider the final product of feudalization, but must also take into consideration the process of feudalization to accurately understand this period of history in any region or society. en_US D.A. en_US
dc.publisher Middle Tennessee State University en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Feudalism Europe en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Feudalism Japan en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Feudalism Middle East en_US
dc.subject.lcsh History, Medieval en_US
dc.subject.lcsh History, European en_US
dc.subject.lcsh History, Middle Eastern en_US
dc.subject.lcsh History, Asia, Australia and Oceania en_US
dc.thesis.degreegrantor Middle Tennessee State University en_US
dc.thesis.degreelevel Doctoral en_US
dc.title Comparative feudalism: feudalism in Western Europe, Japan and the Ottoman Empire. en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
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