The Influence of the Feudal System on the Formation of Political Character

The Influence of the Feudal System on the Formation of Political Character : The Stanhope Prize Essay for 1863 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Influence of the Feudal System on the Formation of Political Character: The Stanhope Prize Essay for 1863 The leading fact of the feudal system was the tenure of land on certain conditions existing mutually between the lord and the vassal. Tenure somewhat similar, and even on the terms of military service, had existed in the Roman colonies, and indeed in a more perfect form among the tribes of Scythia. But the resident feudal lord owning the land around his castle, which was cultivated by vassals who paid him with their service, represented an historical period and a class new to the history of the world. The absence of domestic slavery would in itself have been sufficient to prevent the new world from being a repetition of the old. In modern times the disturbing element has been the lowest class. The upheaval from below is more dangerous than any changes on the surface. But a slave country has no such lowest class. The greatest social and political pro blems of modern days never rise for solution in it. The whole mass of its people creates an upper, and therefore to a certain extent an equal class. Such a class must either govern or be governed as a mass. If it is found in a nation which is centralised in a city, it forms the plebs of Rome or the demos of Athens; if it becomes a nation and not an imperial city, it must submit to a Caesar. For the modern world, for nations which were nations from the beginning, ancient freedom was an impossibility. Not so however ancient ty ranny. And feudalism was the cause which saved the modern world from ancient tyranny. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 28 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 2mm | 50g
  • English
  • 2 Illustrations; Illustrations, black and white
  • 0243049609
  • 9780243049608