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Feudalism vs. Capitalism: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Published on December 14, 2023
Feudalism is a hierarchical system based on land and service, while capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership and profit.

Key Differences

Feudalism, a medieval societal structure, revolved around a rigid hierarchy where land and protection were exchanged for service. Capitalism, in contrast, is a modern economic system where trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, not by the state.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023
Economically, feudalism was centered on localized agricultural production and a barter-based economy. Capitalism, however, focuses on market-driven production and monetary transactions, emphasizing profit and capital accumulation.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023
In feudalism, society was divided into distinct classes - nobility, clergy, and peasantry, with limited mobility. Capitalism promotes a more fluid class system, often based on economic status, allowing greater social mobility.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 14, 2023
Under feudalism, power resided with the landowning nobility and the Church, with peasants having little to no power. In capitalism, power often correlates with wealth and economic influence, regardless of birth status.
Janet White
Dec 14, 2023
Feudalism remained largely static, with change occurring slowly over centuries. Capitalism is dynamic, constantly evolving with technological advancements and global market changes.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 14, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Economic System

Based on land ownership and agriculture
Based on industry and market economies
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

Class Structure

Rigid, hereditary classes
Fluid, based on wealth and business success
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

Wealth Generation

Land-based, through agriculture
Investment and entrepreneurship
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 14, 2023

Power Source

Nobility and the Church
Economic influence and wealth
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

Social Mobility

Limited, based on birth
Higher, based on economic success
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023
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Feudalism and Capitalism Definitions

Feudalism

A socio-political system with a strict class hierarchy and land-based economy.
Feudalism thrived in a time when the king's word was law, and the nobles were the ruling class.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 20, 2023

Capitalism

A system characterized by private property, capital accumulation, and free markets.
The essence of capitalism is the pursuit of profit through competitive business practices.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 20, 2023

Feudalism

Feudalism is a medieval societal system based on land ownership and hierarchical obligations.
Under feudalism, peasants worked the land for the local lord in exchange for protection.
Harlon Moss
Nov 20, 2023

Capitalism

Capitalism is an economic system where trade and industries are privately owned for profit.
In capitalism, companies compete to sell goods and services in a free market.
Harlon Moss
Nov 20, 2023

Feudalism

A structure where lords grant land to vassals in exchange for loyalty and service.
In feudalism, knights swore fealty to their lords for land and protection.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 20, 2023

Capitalism

An economic model prioritizing individual entrepreneurial efforts and wealth creation.
Capitalism encourages innovation, as entrepreneurs seek to develop new products and services.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2023

Feudalism

A system where power is based on landholding and vassalage.
The feudalism era was characterized by kings granting land to nobles in return for military service.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 20, 2023

Capitalism

A market-driven economy with minimal state intervention.
Capitalism thrives in environments where the government allows markets to operate freely.
Harlon Moss
Nov 20, 2023

Feudalism

An agrarian-based economic system with serfdom and manorialism.
Feudalism's backbone was the serfs, who toiled on the land to sustain the manor's economy.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 20, 2023

Capitalism

An economic structure focusing on consumer choice and market demand.
In capitalism, consumer preferences drive the production and pricing of goods.
Janet White
Nov 20, 2023

Feudalism

A political and economic system of Europe from the 9th to about the 15th century, based on the holding of all land in fief or fee and the resulting relation of lord to vassal and characterized by homage, legal and military service of tenants, and forfeiture.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

Capitalism

An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development occurs through the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

Feudalism

A political, economic, or social order resembling this medieval system.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

Capitalism

(politics) A socio-economic system based on private ownership of resources or capital.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

Feudalism

A social system based on personal ownership of resources and personal fealty between a suzerain (lord) and a vassal (subject). Defining characteristics are direct ownership of resources, personal loyalty, and a hierarchical social structure reinforced by religion.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

Capitalism

(economics) An economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

Feudalism

The feudal system; a system by which the holding of estates in land is made dependent upon an obligation to render military service to the king or feudal superior; feudal principles and usages.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

Capitalism

A socio-economic system based on private property rights, including the private ownership of resources or capital, with economic decisions made largely through the operation of a market unregulated by the state.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

Feudalism

The social system that developed in Europe in the 8th C; vassals were protected by lords who they had to serve in war
Sumera Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

Capitalism

An economic system based on the abstraction of resources into the form of privately owned capital, with economic decisions made largely through the operation of a market unregulated by the state.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

Capitalism

An economic system based on predominantly private (individual or corporate) investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of goods and wealth; contrasted with socialism or especially communism, in which the state has the predominant role in the economy.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

Capitalism

An economic system based on private ownership of capital
Sumera Saeed
Nov 19, 2023

FAQs

How did capitalism emerge?

Capitalism emerged as a response to feudalism's limitations, focusing on market-driven economies and private ownership.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 14, 2023

Were there social classes in feudalism?

Yes, feudalism had clearly defined social classes: nobility, clergy, and peasantry.
Janet White
Dec 14, 2023

What is a key feature of capitalism?

A key feature of capitalism is the pursuit of profit through private ownership and market competition.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

How does capitalism affect social mobility?

Capitalism can increase social mobility through economic success and entrepreneurship.
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023

What defines a feudal society?

A feudal society is defined by a rigid class structure, land-based economy, and vassalage.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

What is feudalism?

Feudalism is a medieval hierarchical system based on land ownership and service obligations.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

How does capitalism influence global trade?

Capitalism greatly expands global trade through market economies and multinational corporations.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

Is capitalism the dominant global economic system?

Yes, capitalism is currently the dominant economic system in most of the world.
Janet White
Dec 14, 2023

Did feudalism have a central government?

Feudalism typically lacked a strong central government, with power distributed among lords.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

What is a fief in feudalism?

A fief in feudalism is land granted by a lord to a vassal in exchange for service.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 14, 2023

Can feudalism exist today?

Feudalism, in its traditional form, doesn't exist today but influences some societal structures.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 14, 2023

How does innovation work in capitalism?

Innovation in capitalism is driven by competition and the pursuit of profit.
Janet White
Dec 14, 2023

How does capitalism affect employment?

Capitalism affects employment through job creation, market demands, and economic cycles.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

How was land inherited in feudalism?

Land in feudalism was often inherited through family lines, maintaining the social hierarchy.
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023

What ended feudalism?

Feudalism gradually declined due to various factors, including economic changes and social revolutions.
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023

Were women empowered in feudal societies?

Women generally had limited rights and power in feudal societies.
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023

What role do corporations play in capitalism?

Corporations are key players in capitalism, driving economic activity and innovation.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

What was the role of serfs in feudalism?

Serfs in feudalism worked the land in return for protection and basic rights.
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023

What impact does capitalism have on the environment?

Capitalism can have significant environmental impacts due to industrialization and resource exploitation.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 14, 2023

Is capitalism sustainable in the long term?

The sustainability of capitalism is debated, considering environmental and social challenges.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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