Peasants, Lords, and their Resources
The social, legal, and economic arrangements that most directly affected the daily lives of the great majority of the population in medieval Germany were those set up and enforced between the peasants and the landowners who were their lords. In the great variety of its forms and in its evolution, the organisation of the manor provided the landowners with the type of controls that they desired. But peasants were not rightless either, and the demands of lords were to some extent curtailed by what could realistically be demanded in a relatively backward agrarian structure. The reaction of peasant society to what was undoubtedly an exploitative system ranged from the intelligently cooperative over to armed resistance. Such controls are evident in the structure of the medieval manor.
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