Most convincing explanation, offered by Winthrop Jordan and others, is that the institution of Chattel slavery and the clear belief in the racial inferiority of the African marched hand-in-hand, with each supporting and reinforcing the other. The assumption that the distinction between freedom and servitude must always be clear and ambiguous flows naturally from the attitudes and social structure of modern Western Society. However, things looked very different in the more hierarchical European Society, shaped by the presence or the legacy of feudalism, from which the settlers came.