Merits of Feudalism:
Feudalism had many merits. At first, it saved the common men from the foreign invaders. By saving people from the clutches of invaders and plunders, it created a healthy society.
Secondly, the feudal Lords were able to save the common men from the tyranny of the King.
The common men get respite. A healthy society was created in Europe by feudalism.
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Thirdly, slavery could not thrive in Europe due to feudalism. Since the Vassals were under a Lord, they could not be sold as chattels. Thus, feudalism gave a terrible blow to the slavery system in Europe.
Fourthly, the Knights showed their Chivalry. They considered saving weak from the strong as their prime duty. They also showed honour to women. Due to the Knights, feudalism became popular in Europe.
Fifthly, feudalism put an end to the worriness of the people. Their duty was finished when they paid their ‘Homage’ to the Lord. Then the Lord had to give him fief and save him.
Last but not the least, the relation between Lord and a Vassal was Cordial. They fulfilled the need of each other. The European Society breathed a healthy atmosphere due to this feudalism.
Demerits of Feudalism:
The demerits of feudalism were many. At first, it divided the society into two classes, viz, the feudal class and the peasantry. The Lords acquired more wealth and power In due course of time they hated the Vassals and did not do any good for them. This created dark clouds in the mental horizon of common men.
Secondly, feudalism discouraged nationalism. As war became a regular feature among the Lords, it created hurdles in the formation of nation state.
Thirdly, due to feudalism, the political unity of Europe was lost. This gave way to war and conspiracy among the Lords in Europe. Thus, the dream of the creation of sovereign states was shattered on the rock of frustration.
Finally, this feudalism made the condition of peasants deplorable. It became difficult on their part to earn their livelihood from a small quantity of land.