Social Classes In Medieval Europe

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Medieval Europe was “once regarded as a time of uninterrupted ignorance, superstition, and social oppression.” [a.] The social classes existed simply because of the Feudal System, a system which where all of the land belonged to the king. These social classes can simply be categorised into the nobles and the peasants. “There was a very distinctive social class system during the Middle Ages.”[b] 90% of medieval Europeans belonged to the peasant class – it was the lowest social class during this time. Peasants lived a hard life – a scarce diet, and long, tough work hours on farmland. Both male and female peasants worked in all types of farmland, however, the male peasants were expected by European society to provide food and protect their family…show more content…
The financial, housing, social, clothing, diet and education situations of both of these social classes can be compared – they are complete opposites. “Peasants lived a life of working hard to get things, while nobles were given what they wanted.” [c] A peasant was not allowed to wear the colours/fabrics of what the nobles wore. If so, they would be either fined or put in jail. Nobles let the peasants do their farming work, whilst obtaining the jobs that can be considered “important”, such as judges, council workers. The noble’s houses are the complete opposite of peasants – they were large, and they did not have to share with farm animals. The lifestyles of these social classes are on complete opposite sides of a scale. Nobles more focused on military tactics, social affairs, and financial responsibilities. The peasants didn’t have to focus on anything similar to what the nobles were interested in – instead, they were focused on working and providing food for themselves and the nobles. There are limited similarities within these social classes – some of these similarities included the clothing. Both peasant and noble women wore stockings and tunics. The peasants required land to farm, and the noble’s wealth was based upon what a peasant farmer could grow. Even though a noble’s diet is considerably more rich and nutritious than a peasant’s diet, it was likely that both social classes died at young ages due to sickness and
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