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Middle Ages
Lords and Ladies



Lords and Ladies
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.53

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    fief, feudal, provided, uncertain, society, security, medieval, beginning, homage, responsibility, tribe, estate, kingdom, oversee, ruler, tribal
     content words:    Middle Ages


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Lords and Ladies
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     At the beginning of the Middle Ages, Europe wasn't divided into countries as it is today. Smaller areas were each controlled by the leader of the tribe that had conquered the area. Eventually, some tribal leaders became more powerful than others, and the land that they controlled became larger and larger. When their land became very large, it became known as a kingdom, and the tribal leader became known as the king.
 
2     It was too difficult for the king to oversee everything that went on in his kingdom. He needed help. So he subdivided his land into smaller parcels and named a ruler for each part. These rulers, who were next in charge after the king, were known as lords, and their wives were known as ladies.
 
3     This system of sharing the power worked out well for the lords and also for the king. The lords gained a large piece of land, known as a fief, and the power to rule it. The king, in return, received a pledge of loyalty from his lords. This method of ruling the land and its people became known as the feudal system.
 
4     Under the feudal system, every lord pledged loyalty, or homage, to the king. He agreed to always support the king; he agreed to provide troops of knights ready to fight when needed; and he promised to do a good job of governing his part of the kingdom.

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