The Feudal System was a social structure designed to share land and power to the various levels of society. When William came into England he set up this system to reward his loyal barons. The Saxon people who had been defeated missed out and were not happy. The king needed defences, so his barons had to provide knights and were given castles and weapons.
At the top of the Feudal system was the King (under God) - and all the land was his to distribute as he wished. It paid to be on his good side. The barons collected taxes from those below him on behalf of the king. They also gave smaller tracts of land to their knights and lesser nobles. To use any part rent had to be paid.

The ordinary workers and farmers were peasants. They were given small strips to farm, but had to provide labour and taxes to the lords of the manors on which they lived.
The church too was part of this heirarchy, and people had to pay taxes to the church as well.



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