One of the key points I’ve had to remember about feudalism, is that it is a concept projected by historians onto the ninth and fifteenth centuries in Europe. So, people living in the feudal age would not say they were living in a feudal age; it is an abstract which some historians have denounced. Almost all suggest that if we are ever at all to talk about feudalism — we define it ourselves. There is no universal definition (the OED loves you) which can probably be seen due to the amount of debate surrounding it.
Or so I’m assuming, considering it’s such a Big Deal.
I suppose we can agree with: there is no modern definition of which many scholars will agree upon.
I have not enquired with my notes yet, and this was a few months ago, so I will no doubt revise this post in time, but I’ll be honest and say that all I know about the feudal system right now is: castles, lords, knights, peasants. I think it is the quintessential example of “medieval Europe”. Actually, I think if you say the medieval Europe, the first associative thought will be something with turrets. Or spikes. Or knights. Or turrets. We love turrets.
What I can say in a less-turrets way, is that the feudal system in Europe developed due to the decentralisation of the Carolingian empire (this topic does appear under Post-Carolingian Change); the decentralisation of the “public sector” as one could say into the “private sector”. And wahey, feudal age.
It is quite interesting, in an entirely This Is Dense History way.