Friday, April 23, 2010

What's So Wrong With Social Orders?

What’s so wrong with social orders? What isn’t wrong with social orders? In Medieval times social orders were the way of life. It seemed natural but in reality it wasn’t. You were born into your class and it never changed. Nobody spoke up because they didn’t want to upset natural caste order. The people followed a caste system. A caste system caste is a combined social system of occupation, endogamy, culture, social class, and political power. ( People were not regarded as equals therefore social orders were wrong and unjust.

The top of the caste system was composed of Lords. Lords had complete power and control over the land that he owned and all the people that lived on his land. At a young age the sons of the nobles began their training to become knights. The girls did not to go to school and were taught by their mothers how to cook, clean, and work in the house. Women were not treated as equals in any social class really. Women were owned by men all their life unless they went into religious life. The source also describes the ownership of slaves along with women, “his master is to have power, either through the president of the province or of his own accord, to correct with suitable punishment such a slave or bondsman, and to separate him from such a woman.”( Again, people were not treated equally so social orders were wrong.

The lower class was made up of serfs and peasants. In England, during this time, peasants were considered free and serfs were not. The serfs were like the slaves of the town. The life of a serf was very hard, because they didn’t have much power. Serfs were treated like slaves. Nobody should be treated like slaves. God created everyone equal. Gregory of Tours stated, "but if the slave tried to cry out, or to move from one place to another, a naked sword threatened him; and he found great enjoyment in the man's tears." ( Without serfs, the village would not survive because there would be no one to plant and harvest the food of the town. The serfs should have been treated well because the society depended on them. Serfs could marry but it caused trouble. The source says "the payment of merchet was exacted from serfs at marriage. When the serf married a woman from another estate the indemnity was called formariage, but if he neglected to pay, he suffered confiscation of his goods. Serfs under the jurisdiction of unscrupulous bailiffs suffered heavily by these fees". (

In social classes, there was no way to move from a class to another class. If a peasant family had a child, no matter what circumstances, that child would be a peasant for the rest of his or her life. It is the same with a king; their son will become the next king. Somebody eventually had to think, "why can't I be charge, why can't I be king?". Today, people believe if the concept that everyone is created equal. We all are one nation that unties together and every man and woman has equal rights along with chances to succeed. Martin Luther King Jr. gave us a prime example in his "I Have A Dream" speech, of how the concept of equality is important. He stated, "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." (

Social orders put a damper on concept of equality. Medieval people, especially the peasants, didn’t know any better. Social orders weren’t wrong to the people of that time, but in today’s society we frown upon the concept of social classes that imply that one person is better than the other. At least the Medieval had order. That is the only good thing that can be credited to them.

citation: "The I Have a Dream Speech - The U.S. Constitution Online -" Index Page - The U.S. Constitution Online - Web. 29 Apr. 2010. .

Medieval Sourcebook: Codex Justinianus: Protection of Freewomen Married to Servile Husbands, C. 530 [Vll.24.i.]." FORDHAM.EDU. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. .

"Caste." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 29 Apr. 2010.
"Medieval Sourcebook: Codex Justinianus: Protection of Freewomen Married to Servile Husbands, C. 530 [Vll.24.i.]." FORDHAM.EDU. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. .

Medieval Sourcebook: Pope Gregory the Great: Payment of Merchet, C." FORDHAM.EDU. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. .

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