With reference to Indian history, which of the following is/are the essential elementary elements of the feudal system?
1. A very strong centralized political authority and a very weak provincial or local political authority
2. Emergence of administrative structure based on control and possession of land
3. Creation of lord-vassal relationship between the feudal lord and his overlord
Select the correct answer using the code given below.(2015)
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3
The terms feudalism and feudal system were generally applied to the early and central Middle Ages—the period from the 5th century, when central political authority in the Western empire disappeared, to the 12th century, when kingdoms began to emerge as effective centralized units of government (the period is claimed as 9th-15th century by Wikipedia).
Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour (lord-vassal relationship).
Use of the term feudalism to describe India applies a concept of medieval European origin, according to which the landed nobility held lands from the Crown in exchange for military service, and vassals were in turn tenants of the nobles, while the peasants (villeins or serfs) were obliged to live on their lord’s land and give him homage, labor, and a share of the produce, notionally in exchange for military protection. The term Indian feudalism is an attempt to classify Indian history according to a European model.
Feudalism, in its various forms, usually emerged as a result of the decentralization of an empire: especially in the Carolingian empires which both lacked the bureaucratic infrastructure necessary to support cavalry without the ability to allocate land to these mounted troops.