Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute
The problems of the genesis, characteristics and trends of the development of
feudalism in Western Europe, political-economic entity of feudal way of production,
types of feudal economy of different countries and peoples, and the economic
benefits of the feudal system over the slave-owning one are examined in the article.
The author discovers the causal relationships, relationships between the level
of the economic development and the socio-political structure of society. Such
issues as: the dynamics of development of the countries of Western Europe in the
era of the Middle Ages; common features and peculiarities of the genesis of feudalism
in these countries; the role of the State in strengthening the exploitation
of peasants, increasing various taxes, interference in the peasant- seigniorial relations;
the role of cities as the centers of craft and commercial life and political
centers of the State, media of economic and technical progress have been discussed.
Considerable space is devoted to the analysis of characteristic features of Christian morality, value orientations, and the role of the Church in the medieval society.
Such approach allows to understand better the process of origin of feudal relations,
formation of the barbarian kingdoms in Western Europe, the role of the
Frankish State in the socio-economic development of Europe in the V–IX centuries;
features of the period of the heyday of the Middle Ages in the Western Europe, the
emergence of centralized states, including the largest of them — France and England
and the reasons for the slow development of feudal relations in Germany.
The interesting material from everyday life of medieval Europe is presented,
the causes of cities’s emergence, their unification into unions (the North German
Union of Hansa, etc.), which had not only economic, but also socio-political and
cultural significance for the development of cities; the reasons for the high rates
of urbanization in Western Europe are revealed.
The process of the growth of the productive forces and the development of technology
in the cities, which was the starting point of the origin of the capitalist system
in the depths of feudalism, is also analyzed.
The main directions of development of the leading branch of the city economy
– handicrafts, which acquired the features of a non-economic guild organization,
have been explored. The progressive role of guilds during the XI–XIII centuries
in the development of urban crafts and trade, the reasons for transforming
them into a brake on technical and economic development in the XV–XVI centuries
Positively assessing the efforts of scientists on illumination of the specified topics,
note that many discussion questions had remained, that require the deeper working.
Keywords: feudal rent, allod, mark, vassal, benefіcіj, majorat, banalitet, servazh,
commutation, wilans, koters, kopiholders, friholders, gentry, workshop.