Manorialism was an economic system that existed in Western Europe from about 1050 to 1300 CE. Serfs who worked for a lord farmed large fields. The lord owned the fields and lived in a large manor house. He owned between a third and a half of all the crops. The serfs also had a part of the fields for themselves. Serfs couldnt leave the manor and they had to give the lord a certain amount of their crops, but they could keep the surplus. The serfs lived together communally and worked the fields together using the three crop rotation.
There was also a church and a parson who had his own house and part of the crops. Lords who were warriors that defended the manor and attacked neighboring manors created manors. The serfs had originally paid allegiance to the lords as they protected them and gathered land and wealth. One short-term effect of manorialism was that it gave the peasants who worked the field better working conditions than the slaves had received in earlier Roman estates. The serfs had more control over their lives.
Some of the long-term effects of manorialism were an increase in the quality of all living conditions, chivalry, and better treatment of women. As farming conditions improved and the output of workers became greater, the lords started renting the land to the serfs and gave them greater mobility. Lords sometimes sold this freedom to the serfs. The lords gained financial wealth through selling freedom and charging rent, and the serfs gained greater control over their lives.
The lords also changed their savagery in fighting as warriors for the ideals of chivalry. Chivalry was the obligation of fighting in defense of honorable causes. (418) The ideas that chivalry cherished resulted in the respect and idealization of upper-class women. This was a small advancement in the treatment of women, but it was better than most conditions that had existed before.