indeed is a Latin word that meant a fief. People did call a grant of land a fief. They did not use the word feudalism and they did not consider what they were engaged in as a governmental or economic system.
Feudalism as it was described from the 17th through the mid-20th C would not have been possible in several European areas. In Ireland, for example, the land was held by families and the use of the land was designated by the head of the family. Parallel to the way feudalism has been described but not exactly the same. The historian and Resistance hero Marc Bloch was largely responsible for the redefining of feudalism.
Well, despite so much disapproval being demonstrated, I have listened to a similar discussion before in a serious lecture situation.
I think there are a few points that you and joe and thomas are disregarding:
1.) Politicians from both sides of the political spectrum pay homage to the FFs. The FFs wax and wane as role models. Jefferson was the hero of the left during the 60s, despite having been a slave owner. His popularity diminished rapidly in the 70s. Adams is enjoying a revival of his reputation.
2.) But the FFs are still with us, not because we might admire or revile them, but because they produced the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court, the system of checks and balances, the banking system. It is difficult to ignore them. They continue to determine how we live our political live, so, we have to deal with them, flaws and all.
3.) Contrary to the manner in which I was painted a few posts ago, I am generally coolheaded when I responded to posts, no matter how ridiculous I think they are. If they really upset me, I will rub my hands together. That said, I honestly felt it better to produce an outline showing that actions and attitudes that we might call liberal today were present at the end of the 17th C., just as actions and attitudes we might call conservative were there in full bloom.
And I really was inspired by a long ago lecture. I am just not certain when it was given or by whom. I feel I have a precedent for my action.
If the truth be known, there are things about many of the FFs I admire: their linguistic skill, their imagination, their work ethic (even if they were the 'fat cats' of their day . . . or is that too close to putting the present into the past, the opposite of what this thread is about?), their scientific curiosity, their taste. There are just as many things about them that appall me. They knew slavery was something to be ashamed of. Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings, who was (most likely) the half-sister of his wife, existed in a context where it was acceptable for a wealthy white man to have sex with a powerless woman, who was powerless not just because she was female but because she was a black slave.
4.) Why am I on trial for presenting a discussion of a topic common enough to call up 1,470,000 responses when googled?