Government 2, May/June 2010  
Questions:   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12   Main
General Comments

question 1

(a) Define feudalism.
(b) State any five demerits of feudalism.



Many candidates attempted this question because it was a popular one. Some of the candidates who attempted it could not score high marks because they could not give an apt definition of the concept. Some also
failed to give relevant points for the demerits of feudalism. The definition of feudalism is clear - it was a socio-political and economic system that existed during the middle ages which was based on land ownership between the lords and the serfs. Some of the demerits of feudalism expected from the candidates' responses included:

(i)  the system weakened the sovereignty of state, since every lord wielded some political power;
(ii)  there were constant wars among the lords for the search for more territories;
(iii)  the system was exploitative. The salves/serfs/vassals and peasants were used and dumped;
(iv)   it encouraged injustice. The lord presided over disagreements between himself and the land tenants;
(v)  the system encouraged domination. It produced very powerful lords who controlled and dictated the socio-economic and political lives of the tenants;
(vi)  there was no security of land ownership. The land being worked upon by a peasant or slave could be taken away from him and given to another or the lord could lose it because of war;
(vii)  the system did not encourage personal initiative and creativity. The tenants were not allowed to think out better ways of doing thing but made to dance to the dictates of the lords;
(viii)  the system was undemocratic. The tenants were not allowed to choose their leaders.

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