Feudalism had taken root on the European continent at a time when no central government was strong enough to keep order. Under the circumstances, nobles had to rely on their own warriors for help. The [French political and economic] system they created was an exchange of property for personal service.- the person who granted the property was the lord o r overlord. The person who received it was the vassal. The vassal promised service to his lord in a ceremony called the act of homage. At the same time, the vassal usually pledged his faithfulness by taking the Christian vow of fealty.