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Feudalism and Islam in South East Asia - Essay Example

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Feudalism and Islam in South East Asia

The term feudalism is derived from the Latin feodum, for "fief," and ultimately from a Germanic word meaning "cow," generalized to denote valuable movable property. Although analogous social systems have appeared in other civilizations, the feudalism of Europe in the Middle Ages remains the common model of feudal society.”


Manorialism, an essential element of feudal society, was the organizing principle of rural economy that originated in the villa system of the Late Roman Empire, was widely practiced in medieval western and parts of central europe and was slowly replaced by the advent of a money-based market economy and new forms of agrarian contract.


Manorialism was characterized by the vesting of legal and economic power in a lord, supported economically from his own direct landholding and from the obligatory contributions of a legally subject part of the peasant population under his jurisdiction. These obligations could be payable in several ways, in labor (the French term corvee is conventionally applied), in kind or, on rare occasions, in coin.
The feudal society was constructed for one reason: security. The nobles wanted the security of maintaining control over their far-reaching kingdoms, so they were forced to delegate power to local control. The peasants wanted security from marauders and barbarians from neighboring lands. They also wanted security from invading armies. And thus the development of the feudal system and the fief structure was almost inevitable. However, all this came at the great expense of the common man. He gave up many freedoms for his security. The question we ask you is: Was it worth it? It was a form of society where the peasants and other workers, labourers were given land in return to the services they gave to the kingdom. There is a need for the existence of Feudalism as it keeps the government of Malaysia in check. Through feudalism the government is able to distinguish the need of the people in a very efficient manner and also help the citizens rise through the barriers in their lives. Two major developments that changed Malay history occurred beginning in the 13th and 14th centuries. The first was the arrival of Islam, and the second was the rise of the great port city of Malacca on the southwestern coast of Malay peninsular. The islamic faith arrived on the shores of what are now the states of Kedah, Perak, Kelantan, and terengganu, from around the 12th century. The earliest archaeological evidence of islam from the Malay peninsula is an inscribed stone dating from the 14th century. By the 15th century, the Malacca sultanate whose hegemony reached over much of the western Malay archipelago, became the center of Islamization in the east. The Malaccan tradition was transmitted onwards and fostered a vigorous ethos of Malay identity. It was during this era that the Islamic faith became closely identified with Malay society and played a significant role in defining the Malay identity. Established by the Malay ruler Parameswara, the sultanate of malacca was first a hindu kingdom. The introduction of the Islamic faith is attributed to have arisen originally out of a political allegiance with the Chinese Ming dynasty to safeguard Parameswara’s empire from enemy attacks. This accord suggests that during the trade activities that followed, the arrival of the Chinese-Muslim admiral Zheng Ho brought the seeds of Islam to Malacca and it is through contact with Zheng Ho that Parameswara converted to Islam in 1414 and took up the title of “Sultan” and proclaimed himself as the Sultan Of Malacca. He also changed his name to Iskandar Shah. The rulers’ acceptance of islam made the new religion popular among the masses and a popular ...Show more
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Summary

Islam and Feudalism

Question 1

To answer the first question, we shall start with the definition of feudalism and carry on from that point onwards.
Following is the definition of Feudalism:
Feudalism and Islam in South East Asia
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