Feudalism is the social and political order of allegiance, land tenure and military service which gradually developed over large parts of Central and Western Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire. The land was divided into fiefs or feuds, each with a manor occupied by a vassal or noble (member of the Second Estate) who was beholden for his tenancy to a superior lord, king or emperor to whom he owed tribute and military service. Below each vassal were the subtenants, known as serfs or villeins. Its main characteristic was that all political and military power was vested in the hands of the owners of the land. It slowly disappeared step by step as the modern ages replaced the Middle Ages.
- Percy L. Greaves, Jr. "Mises Made Easier ", 1974. Referenced 2014-07-12.