World Civilization: The Essential World History to 1500

There was no centralized form of government and everything was handled on a localized level. Because the peasant class could not afford to maintain any weapons or horses or other methods of self protection, they had to rely on this system. While this system solved the issue of protection for the peasants,

it also made them obligated to these lords with no real rights or hope of improving their station.

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This system gave rise to ranks and classes where each person knew his or her place in society. However, individuals did not move from the peasant class to the noble class. There was no hope for a better life. Peasants could not own their own land. In some cases, the peasants could not even marry without the approval of the lord who used this opportunity to make additional profits to approve marriages. However, there were reciprocal rights that both classes had to uphold and this custom did help set foundations for future governmental systems though as the wars lessened and the need for protection declined, along with other shortcomings in the system, caused the decline of feudalism.

The black death was an outbreak of the bubonic plague which started in Central Asia and spread throughout much of Europe in the mid 14th century. This killed 25-50% of the European civilization and created a number of social and religious upheavals that changed the course of history. There were many consequences to this such as an end to current wars and shortage of labor. However, the Mongol dominance declined during this time which may be one of the most significant impacts of this plague. This period prior to the black death is often referred to as the Age of the Mongols because of their success.

The Mongols were a war machine and easily conquered those areas they chose to occupy. They expanded throughout Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

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