It should be noted that from its very beginning the land relationship of feudalism was not created primarily for the grantor's income, but that it emphasized in the most striking way his continued ownership.
Feudal history was always a becoming, always a gradual passing from one stage to another, so long as feudalism continued to form the main organization of society.
At the moment, however, when feudalism was disappearing as the organization of society, it gave rise to results which in a sense continued it into after ages and even to our own day.
That a sovereign like St Louis should be able to associate himself officially with the feudalism of his realm to repress abuses of church jurisdiction; that a contemporary of Philip the Fair, the lawyer Pierre Dubois, should dare to suggest the secularization of ecclesiastical property and the conversion of the clergy into a class of functionaries paid out of the royal treasury; and that Philip the Fair, the adversary of Boniface VIII., should be able to rely in his conflict with the leader of the Church on the popular consent obtained at a meeting of the Three Estates of France - all point to a singular demoralization of the sentiments and principles on which were based the whole power of the pontiff of Rome and the entire organization of medieval Catholicism.
The very multiplication of offices, so noticeable at this time, furthered this triumph of feudalism by multiplying the links of personal dependence, and neutralizing more and more the direct action of the central authority.
Great kings and emperors came after him, but none of them possessed the direct, absolute authority which he freely wielded; even in the case of the strongest the forms of feudalism more and more interposed themselves between the monarch and the nation, and at last the royal authority virtually disappeared.
When the government of the state had entered into feudalism, and the king was as much senior as king; when the vassal relationship was recognized as a proper and legal foundation of public duties; when the two separate sides of early feudalism were united as the almost universal rule, so that a man received a fief because he owed a vassal's duties, or looked at in the other and finally prevailing way, that he owed a vassal's duties because he had received a fief; and finally, when the old idea of the temporary character of the precarium tenure was lost sight of, and the right of the vassal's heir to receive his father's holding was recognized as the general rule - then the feudal system may be called full grown.
His care for the common people was sincere and constant, but his beneficial efforts in this direction were thwarted by the curious interaction of two totally dissimilar social factors, feudalism and Hussitism.
Hence arise various mistaken beliefs, such as the belief in revelation which not only injures the moral As feudalism passed from its age of supremacy into its age of decline, its customs tended to crystallize into fixed forms.
For the time, feudalism in truth meant that lands and offices were held on condition of service; the kinf was the genuine ruler, not only of freemen, but of the highest vassals in the nation.