Europe in the eleventh century underwent enormous social, technological, and economic changes, but this did not create a new Europe—it created two new ones. The north was developed as a rigidly hierarchical society in which status was determined, or was at least indicated, by the extent to which one owned, controlled, or labored on land; whereas the Mediterranean south developed a more fluid, and therefore more chaotic, world in which industry and commerce predominated and social status both reflected and resulted from the role that one played in the public life of the community. ln other words, individual identity and social community in the north were established on a personal basis, whereas in the south they were established on a civic basis. By the start of the twelfth century, northern and southern Europe were very different places indeed, and the Europeans themselves noticed it and commented on it.
Which of the following was a deciding factor in person’s place in society in northern and southern Europe respectively at the end of the eleventh century?