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Earned Bachelor Degree from the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences (Class of 2013) Major: Political Science Minor: Sociology ------------------- I am your typical nerd/geek/otaku. I like to ride my bike, read, write, and surf the internet. Otaku(noun)(おたく/オタク)- is a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime, manga, and/or video games.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Feudal Society -- Foundations of Political Thought -- Blog Post #10

Text: Bloch, Mark "Feudal Society" (excerpts)
Required Readings: pages 280-214, 219, 241-242,  248-266, 270-279
Blog Started: Sunday, May 3, 2012 at 8:21 p.m.

Mark Bloch in this section talks about how after roughly the year 1000 onwards, charters and other documents began to become more commonplace amongst lords, vassals, & serfs. There was a greater demand for "legal clarity" (page 276) as more people began to get educated. Yet, despite the greater value placed upon these legally binding contracts, people were still very much illiterate and thus relied upon members of the clergy, merchants, and jurists in the immediate area to help them understand and interpret the documents. In fact, according to Bloch, there were "...substantial advantages which had been recorded in writing".

Two charters that held such significance were the charters of Beaumont-au-Argonne and the charter of Lorris, both of which had given certain customary rights to those living in the recently founded settlement, and the other, older one (page 276). A provision was included in both of these charters that they would be officially put forth in motion by the sound of assarter's axes (as both were "on the verge of great woodland areas"). It was perhaps only fitting to include that as a memorable visual christening. This, in a way, showed the townsfolk that there were benefits to written decrees, giving certain obligations importance, credibility, and validity.

I find it rather shocking that this novel idea to have a "So let it be written, so it shall be done" (commonly known quote from The Ten Commandments (1956 film)) policy wasn't put into practice sooner. Fortunately however, things appeared to be looking a bit more favorable for those not in power especially since a newfound appreciation for education seemingly allowed for a bit of ingenuity and resourcefulness (as one can imagine that people relied on each other for the sake of understanding the charters). The sentiments of obligation and mutual-trust eventually came to be transferred onto parchment, thus clearly defining the terms agreed upon between two or more individuals and that was a significant achievement for the time.

1 comment:

  1. David,

    Excellent job. I particularly like the way you tie the rise of written law to the idea of the rights of citizens.