Was there any upward mobility in Feudalism? If so, how did said upward mobility take place? What did it look like?

Was there any upward mobility in Feudalism?

If so, how did said upward mobility take place?

What did it look like?

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  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Yeah, ghost here. AMA
    >be me
    >peasant girl in 14th century France
    >have a fat ass
    >some baron's son is coming down in the village to flay some chickens or torture the baker's apprentice, idk i'm just a peasant girl
    >"O mine heavens, fair maiden, how about we roll in the hay?"
    >get my butter churned
    >baron's son cucks out and marries me
    >pays my father a wagonful of gold for a wagonful of ass
    >be baroness when the old man kicks the bucket
    >die
    >descendant hundreds of years later asks if there is upward mobility in feudalism

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      He probably wouldn't marry you

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        He's going to have pay child support then. It'll cost him an arm and a leg, literally!

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Skips child support
          >Leaves you with bastard child he would neither recognize or remember making.

          What do now?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          https://i.imgur.com/XGaGwHj.jpeg

          Yeah, ghost here. AMA
          >be me
          >peasant girl in 14th century France
          >have a fat ass
          >some baron's son is coming down in the village to flay some chickens or torture the baker's apprentice, idk i'm just a peasant girl
          >"O mine heavens, fair maiden, how about we roll in the hay?"
          >get my butter churned
          >baron's son cucks out and marries me
          >pays my father a wagonful of gold for a wagonful of ass
          >be baroness when the old man kicks the bucket
          >die
          >descendant hundreds of years later asks if there is upward mobility in feudalism

          bastards can not inherit a title, anything happens outside of matrimony is illegitimate.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            adultery is also not allowed by the church
            heres the scenario
            you had sex with some woman off the streets and now you're being blackmailed into adopting the son under threat of people finding out and causing a scandle (assuming you cant have an heir with your wife or dont have one it'd seem ok to adapt a child), or if you have a son and wife already you'd be blackmailed into giving the son a more discrete title or position, such as a retainer or some land
            chances are the blackmail would be more successful under threat of the wife finding out
            this whole situation also assumes that there could be other witnesses
            inhreitence laws are also not equal everywhere in europe, so a bastard could become an heir in some places

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >middle ages were like a dollar store novel my mom reads
      best case the peasant girl could hope for would be that her child would be taken in by their father and he would offer them some low level position at his court, worst case, they get chased out of the village or killed, most likely scenario, she gets married to some other peasant and their child never knows about his father

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Were you a GATE student? I can tell.

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    it somewhat existed but it was limited, for example its very unlikely for a peasant to reach nobility (yes it happened but these are usually exceptions) but since peasant encompassed multiple types of professions it was possible for social mobility within the context of getting a better paying job and position, granted it would be more difficult when compared to today since most would still be substance farmers but it was certainly possible

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    the stewart monarchy's name derives from their position as being servants to the king

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      they were nobles the entire time though. Zero chance a peasant family can accomplish what they did

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    To my knowledge, yes and no. It didn't exist in the sense that you as a random peasant could just up and decide "alright, I want to join the nobility now" and people would accept that, but you had instances of meritocracy in the cities where traders would rise and fall based on their skill, ambition and of course luck, and you also had other phenomenons like the rise of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministerialis system where unfree servants in some cases rose to real power and essentially became part of the landed aristocracy with inheritance rights, regardless of what their rank said on paper.

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I vaguely remember something about learning how a peasant/serf could escape to a city and if they lived there for a certain amount of time, they were legally free and could join a guild or whatever

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Was there any upward mobility in Feudalism?
    If you mean movement between the estates of society (nobility, clergy, and commons) then not really. Downward mobility was common, however.
    >If so, how did said upward mobility take place?
    Luck and disruptions to the normal social order by things like plague, war, famine, etc.
    >What did it look like?
    A commoner becoming a clergyman was probably the most common example of movement to a higher estate. Especially as urbanization saw more and more wealthy city-dwellers emerge. Such wealthy families found that religious service was an easier path to power and respectability than trying to marry into the nobility.

    It was much rarer for a commoner to be ennobled, and typically required a fair bit of luck on the part of the commoner, there was nothing like a defined path for ennoblement. The same is true for clergymen become nobles, for that matter.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      good post

      If you were a peasant, you could sometimes go to a city and find someone to train you to become a craftsman. If you’re at the right place and time, you could make a lot of money which you could use on your children’s education. Becoming nobility would take multiple generations, though, as your family works its way up in prestige.

      you dont have to be moronic

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Unironically, there was upward mobility after depopulation (e.g. plagues), at least in England and I suspect in other places: labour became scarce and up went the relative cost of peasant work to the landlord. Blessed be wars and poxes.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Didn't Anglo Saxon England also have a fair amount of mobility? IIRC as long as you could arm yourself for your station you could become a thegn. The requirements were rather specific, but it was quite possible to go from freemen to lower nobility.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Didn't Anglo Saxon England also have a fair amount of mobility? IIRC as long as you could arm yourself for your station you could become a thegn. The requirements were rather specific, but it was quite possible to go from freemen to lower nobility.

      basically one of reasons why people joined wars at those times was to get some rewards from nobility and royals for doing so, let this be a plot of land or a title.
      So, more wars = more upward mobility.

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If you were a peasant, you could sometimes go to a city and find someone to train you to become a craftsman. If you’re at the right place and time, you could make a lot of money which you could use on your children’s education. Becoming nobility would take multiple generations, though, as your family works its way up in prestige.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >you could sometimes go to a city and find someone to train you to become a craftsman
      No you couldn't. It was outlawed by guilds to do such a thing and nor would there be a reason to do so.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >It was outlawed
        Not saying you're wrong on this but any appeal to what was or wasn't law in as broad a range of time and area as the Middle Ages is automatically very hard to believe.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Well obviously. It was frequent in English and Flemish guilds to prevent teaching to those outside of their group and one of the most important functions was barring (or trying to) the practice of the trade outside of their group.
          Some crafts by nature required a large amount of money, usually just passing it down to father and son to even practice properly like smithing of any sort. Some trades like potters or stonemasons it was common to have apprentices but you had to pay for it to learn, normal people weren't becoming apprentices to anybody, they couldn't afford that.

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The Church was your best bet. It was still segregated as frick with the best roles relegated to the noble clergy but it was better than nothing.
    Other than that you could try being a merchant. Money has always been the real source of power and that's why in the early modern period you had noble families marrying off their daughters to merchants because a noble title without money to back it up meant frick all.

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Feudalism is a bit of a meme
    Back then payment was in land or land leases
    You do X and i pay you with the right to farm this land for X years.
    Serfs lived like that were they would rent a piece of land in exchange for X amount of work from the land owner
    So there were people who did some job or was a commander for the king who then would get some land and go from there.
    Usually this type of movement up was multi generational.
    The problem is that the average peasant wouldn't have much to offer in terms of skills that would get them to move upwards.
    The best time to move up in life was when there was an invasion. So fx lowly some norman knights got land in England when William the Conqueror invaded England.
    It should be said as other pointed out that Cities existed with their own non feudal economy which would be were most upward mobility would have happened

  11. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  12. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    To build on others' smartypants ''social mobility existed in the Middle Ages, but...'' answers, I'd say it was usually a lot slower and more multigenerational back then. A family of successful farmers, for example, would over the generations accrue de facto power through land rights and sheer economic clout in the highly localised system of the period, and could even eventually get choosy about marriage and get into the gentry, but if you're born a shitkicker your chances of not dying a shitkicker were relatively remote compared to modern times.
    It is still largely true now, that most people who make it to serious society influencing wealth started from the affluent middle class and not the gutter, think Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg vs Henry Ford or Elvis, but that can be done in fewer generations than it could in the Middle Ages. For individuals it has always depended on random opportunities arising from social disruption like new technologies, wars, diseases, etc but higher modern productivity and the opportunities created by modern technology allow for a driven underdog to make it more easily.

  13. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    plenty of upwards mobility; but as it was an actual libertarian society, the higher up you went the more responsibility you took upon yourself and not everyone wanted to move up.
    Being a peasant with your own land, your own family, your own church wasn't seen as "bad"
    Being a noble and required to engage in often bloody politics wasn't seen as especially "good"

  14. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    yes, especially in the late medieval period where feudalism and serfdom was declining
    >muh it doesnt count
    plate armor didnt arrive until the late period so it counts in my book
    anyways, the main method was to simply be rich, nobles probably didnt give a shit who they sold land they didnt need to, and its not like the stonemasons building manors and castles refused anyone with money
    how did you get rich? well how do you get rich now? you inherit something that is much more valuable now than when your parents or grandparents had it (like farmland), you inhreit your parent's home after you already moved out and decide to rent it off for a decent sum instead of selling it, you start a business that becomes successful like being a traveling merchant for a town very far from any nearby city center, or a doctor for a plagued town, you could work your way up through a private mercenary group taking home a bigger share (look up the white company in italy, griffith's story from berserk is based on a true one), and lastly you could work for a lord as a retainer or something similar and be granted higher ranking positions over time, which werent necisarily inherited

  15. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I think people were just happy the world wasn't entirely in the shitter (even though it's on a continual ingress)

  16. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The only stories I've heard, were favors from nobles to peasants they liked.

    Either marrying pretty peasant girls or when some lower class male proved to be extra smart or exceptional soldier.

  17. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Moving to a town and becoming an artisan held a slight chance of making it up the social ladder, just by hard work.

  18. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    No. And that's a good thing. People were honest about your lot in life instead of attaching fake "merit" to it.

  19. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >What did it look like?
    This motherfricker
    >was a weapons merchant
    >sold weapons to Slavs
    >said frick it and joined Slavs
    >became king of Slavs
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samo

  20. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Depends on the time and place, as all things do.

    In Western Europe you could earn a fair amount of money with efficient farming and set your sons up to be craftsmen and merchants in a city, or priests/monks in the local church. You could send your daughters to serve as concubines for local noblemen, giving your grandchildren by those daughters an advantage when the local land allocations are renegotiated. You could also use your levy service to pillage valuables from enemy territory and use that to boost your standing within your community. You would likely never make it into the nobility, because that class was already perpetually oversaturated due to natural growth, but you could definitely go from peasant to burgher with a bit of effort.

    In Eastern Europe your odds would have been much less favorable, especially after the 15th century (when hierarchies in Western Europe became much more fluid, the opposite happened in Eastern Europe). The land was less fertile and plots of arable land were smaller, so you couldn't really produce a profitable surplus for yourself by working the land efficiently. Hierarchies were also much more rigid, and urbanization didn't happen to nearly the same extent that it did in Western Europe and Italy, so the life of a craftsman or merchant was also basically off the table. This was more and more true the further east you went, starting in the eastern half of the Holy Roman Empire (where things really depended on the land's fertility and the whims of local lords) and ending in Russia (where nearly everyone was essentially a dirt-farming slave until the mid-19th century).

  21. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    illustrative story from my narrower homeland (now considered north-western Transylvania, but back then used to be part of Hungary even called partium regni Hungariae, the 'Parts' (of the Hungarian kingdom - because it was intermittently attached to Transylvania as the personal fief of the ruler of Transylvania).
    the year is 1717, the year of the last tatar incursion into Hungary. tatars hit the countryside around my hometown, looting the villages. the town in question is still in tatters from the devastation of the latest war of independence - 1703 to 1711 - but the famous star fortress built around 1540 is in perfect condition, so tatars got no luck with it, they do not even try. all they can take is prisoners, which they usually hold for ransom, or rarely sell to the ottomans. this time, however, the nobility got mobilized in time, in sufficient numbers and was led competently enough to efficiently hit at them, so that they had to let hundreds of prisoners go when fleeing and took only about ten of them to the Crimea (those were ransomed back within months).
    this counterraid on the tatars was led by a vlach serf called in Hungarian Karácsony Tódor (probably Tudor Craciun), who was by common knowledge an erstwhile highwayman and horse thief (no proofs, though), but who fought in the aforementioned war of independence on the Hungarian side, distinguishing himself by his bravery and leadership, which is why the nobles making up the ad-hoc army made him commander of the posse. he led them perpendicular to valleys on paths known to him, no doubt, from his earlier career dodging the law, and thus he did manage to catch up with the tatars who never dreamed anyone would be fast enough to do so.
    in recognition of his merits the serf in question was ennobled. end of story. so feudalism was at least partially a meritocracy.

  22. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Be merchant, get lucky

  23. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Not very much. The upper class produced a surplus of children who became downwardly mobile to replenish the ranks of the lower classes, who were forever on the brink of starvation and got periodically culled by famines.

  24. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It was possible, though rare, for a peasant to become a gentleman (i.e. part of the nobility), and it was more a matter of multigenerational progression.
    For example, a serf might be able to pass his offspring as a servant to the household of lower-level nobility (e.g. a knight baron). That son of the serf would then grow up effectively "gentle", and thus his offspring, if any, would be born into the household of the baron, and then that son could possibly become squired to a knight. That squire might then be able to in his own generation or probably the next to become an actual landed vassal himself, a knight in his own right, and therefore de facto nobility.
    But that's 3-4 generations of hard work and luck; you're not going from a shitkicking farmer to a knight in shining armor in a single lifetime. It's something you try to pass down to your descendants.

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