In The Beginning
What is feudalism?
In the beginning God said that we are but strangers and his tenants. In America today when you purchase land or a home you sign the papers as the tenant or tenants in common. So, in the beginning as it is now, we are tenants on the land. Is this a coincidence? Or did the Creator establish a feudal Lord-tenant relationship that has followed through in some modified form to this present day America?
If our Creator instituted a feudal land holding system in the beginning when, by whom and under what authority was it changed contrary to the Creator’s will? Or did it change?
What is feudalism?
Feudalism is a landholding system
Feudal law is the real property law of land tenures.
Tenures “means of holding” the holding of lands
Feud: A heritable estate in land conveyed from a feudal superior to a grantee or tenant, held on the condition of rendering service to the superior.
[We want to acknowledge Kenneth S Cooper of George Peabody College for Teachers for the excerpts we use herein. George Peabody College for Teachers was merged into Vanderbilt University in 1979. Peabody was ranked as the top graduate school of education in the nation during the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 editions of the U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings.]
How Feudalism Began
At one time the Roman Empire had been strong enough to keep peace and order in Europe. When the empire began to decline and could no longer keep peace, people had to find some way of protecting themselves. Most of the time they did this by putting themselves under the protection of a powerful person. They arranged this according to established Roman practices. But the arrangements were also influenced by the customs of the Germanic tribes that had been overrunning the Roman Empire since the third century.
Between the third and ninth centuries the practice of getting protection through private agreements became widespread in Europe. It even continued to spread when Charlemagne established the Holy Roman Empire in 800. Men would rather put themselves under the protection of a feudal lord than under an emperor. When Charlemagne died in 814 feudalism was solidly established as the main system of government and way of life in Europe.
Fiefs, Vassals and Lords
A feudal Lord like Charles the Bald had little power to rule the land. Yet if he wanted to put down a rebellion or get an army to fight off foreign invader, he could be sure that many men would fight for him. Under feudalism the king granted land to a man for the man’s promise to supply fighting men called knights. Such a land grant was called a fief. Those who received the fiefs were called the king’s vassals. The king was the vassal’s lord. The vassal served him by providing him with fighting men. But within their fief they, and not the king, were master.
Cooper explains that Fiefs were of various sizes. Some were single estates while others consisted of whole countries or provinces. The larger the grant the more fighting men one would promise to provide.
Vassals who owed the king a number of knights might in turn subdivide his granted estate to others who would promise to fight. In this arrangement he became a feudal lord over those who he granted a fief, who became his vassal. Sometimes the granting of fiefs became very complicated. The main obligation the vassal owed his lord was military service but not the only one.
A vassal’s son usually inherited his father’s fief as well as his obligations to the king. The son was also required to pay the king a special payment called a relief, much like an inheritance tax today.
The lord also had an obligation to his vassals. He not only granted the fief but he promised to protect the vassal and uphold his claim to the fief. He also promised not to harm the vassal or members of his family. A vassal did homage and fealty to his lord by taking an oath to the king. If the vassal broke his promise to the king the king could seize, or escheat the property back and re-grant it to a more faithful vassal.
A vassal received more than the use of the fief. He became the ruler of the people who lived on the land. The lord of a fief served as a judge to settle disputes and punish those who disturbed the peace of the countryside. The lord and his knights served as the policemen, protecting merchants and travelers. The lord could tax the people, charge them rents and a portion of their yearly crops and collect tolls from merchants who crossed their fief. A lord presided over the court of law that tried people accused o crimes. He collected fines and fees and could seize the weapons and horses of the convicted for his own personal gain.
Cooper states that feudal law began to diminish by the early 1300s, but did it? Or did it simply morph into a more profitable form of feudalism?
In America today the government has the right to institute a ‘Military Draft’ to compel its citizen to fight in its wars. We see the inheritance tax much like the relief; We are named tenants when we purchase land/property; We pay a property tax, just like a fealty; We owe a portion of our labor to the state in the form of income tax and we operate on a dual title system much like feudal land holding system.
When one purchases property they receive a Certificate of deed and/or certificate of title. A certificate of title or deed is an equitable title and prima facia evidence that the legal title exists in whomever issues the certificate, i.e. the STATE.
Webster’s Dictionary describes the two kinds of ownership in the feudal land holding system.
Dominion: “The special characteristic of feudal land was that ownership in it was split into two kinds, the dominion directum of the superior (lord) and the dominion utile of the vassal. The feudists correctly insist this was not a form of joint ownership, not yet of ownership burdened with an easement or a usufruct, but that two kinds of ownership were present, and that each of these persons, the lord and the vassal, was properly called owner. The lord’s dominion derictum gave him a reversion in case of forfeiture or failure of issue ……… The vassal’s dominion utile gave him immediate enjoyment of the land itself.” Max Radin, Handbook of Anglo-American History 149 (1936)
“The …. feudal fictions and services to be retained in any part of the United States consists of the feudal principle. That the lands are held of some superior or lord, to whom the obligations of fealty, and to pay a certain rent, are due …. The lord paramount of all sacage land was none other than the people of the state, and to them, and them only, the duty of fealty was to be rendered.” 3 James Kent, Commentaries on American Law 509-10 (George Comstock Ed., 11th Ed 1866)
We also see remnants of feudal law, in the form of escheat, in the Abandonment and Eminent Domain statutes of every state. Then there is the government’s power to seize your home for failing to pay their property taxes (fealty?).
We see in a 1996 case involving the District of Columbia’s Washington Metro Transit Authority (WMTA) where the court states: ”There are two forms of governmental escheat approach: the ‘specific’ or ‘earmarked’ escheat and the general escheat. Levi Strauss, 715 P. 2d at 572. Further in Market Street Railway Co. v Railroad Commission, 171 P.2d at 881, the California Supreme Court concluded, that an earmarked escheat to a government entity responsible for transit is the most effective way …….”
The term escheat is strictly a feudal term and does not exist in any other land holding system. It is the right of the king to seize the property that he had granted to an unfaithful vassal.
So from where do all of these feudal law remnants spring? Are they simply remnants of a time past or are they a disguised form of feudal law that was instituted by our Creator in the beginning? If our Creator instituted a feudal land holding system in the beginning when, by whom and under what authority was it changed contrary to the Creator’s will?
William Blackstone in Commentaries on the Laws of England 106 (1769) states: “The pope became a feudal lord; (over church owned property) and all ordinary patrons were to hold their right of patronage under this universal superior. Over church owned property? But, in 1213 King John gave his entire kingdom to the pope for the salvation of his soul. The pope then Granted the kingdom back to King John under a well-documented feudal grant. Ownership was conveyed while administration and ruler ship of the kingdom was maintained by the king.
Our Founding Fathers attempted to dis-possess the king’s property, and thus the pope’s property in the Declaration of Independence. The king sent his soldiers to fight for possession of America and many believe that the king retreated in defeat. The truth is the king took the battle to the courtroom and began seizing the estates of the founding fathers, on both sides of the pond, for treason against the king for trespass on the king’s claim. The seizures lasted for several years until the pope, the king and the founding fathers met in Paris and signed the 1783 Treaty of Peace. Why was the pope involved in the treaty? Because, the treaty ended the seizures and restored the already seized estates to the founding fathers in exchange for passing the constitution that made the private contract inviolable and made the treaty the highest form of law thereby protecting the pope’s claim.
We see that the constitution was never executed, but only signed by the signors as witnesses. Now we see the remnants of the feudal land holding system in America today. A search through the papal bulls will show numerous instances of feudal grants issued by the pope and even more instances where a king calls the pope his lord.
We see in the third Lateran Council it states—” All persons are released from the obligation of homage and subjection to heretics” i. e. Protestant Princes. The great Lateran Council, 1215, declares—” The Pope may depose Kings, absolve their subjects from their oath of allegiance, and give away their kingdoms.”
Dr. Milner, a Catholic Bishop, maintains,—” You may as well pretend to pluck a beam from the sun as to touch a fibre of ecclesiastical jurisdiction.”
The Florentine Council states—” We define that the Holy Apostolical Seat and the Roman Pontiff hold principality throughout the world.” “It is altogether of the necessity of salvation, that every human creature should be subject to the Roman Pontiff” The character of the Pontiff is thus given by St. Bernard, in a letter to Eugerrius III.—” The Great Priest, the most High Pontiff, the Prince qf Bishops is, in primacy Abel, in government Noah, in patriarchate Abraham, in order Melchisedec, in dignity Aaron, in authority Moses, in jurisdiction Samuel, in unction Christ.” In the Bull of Sixtus V., 1585, it is said—” The authority given to St. Peter and his successors, by tike imrnenai power of the Eternal King, excels all power of earthly Kings in it passes uncontrollable sentence upon them all.”
There is no evidence in history or in the Bible that suggests that the original feudal lord-tenant relationship established by the Creator has ever changed. In fact we see evidence that it still exists and is in full force and effect to this day.
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