Serfdom is a type of forced labor that existed in feudalistic societies of the Middle Ages. Serfs were bonded directly to their land, instead of peasants owning land, land "owned" peasants. Laws were constructed across Europe to prevent peasants from being able to leave the land and deprive the landlords of labor. Serfs were required to perform certain duties (varying from culture to culture) to their landlord annually as part of their debts. Serfdom has its historical roots in slavery and is a simple variation from that older practice.