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Commerce in the City- States. Merchants The Polo family were merchants They bought goods in one place (the East) and sold them for a profit Merchants.

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Presentation on theme: "Commerce in the City- States. Merchants The Polo family were merchants They bought goods in one place (the East) and sold them for a profit Merchants."— Presentation transcript:

1 Commerce in the City- States

2 Merchants The Polo family were merchants They bought goods in one place (the East) and sold them for a profit Merchants bought goods ready to sell (ex: spices and fabrics) Merchants also bought and sold resources that needed to still be manufactured

3 Business Model A This model would have been used widely during the majority of the Middle Ages Step 1: Masters of the wool guild together buy raw wool from a merchant Step 2: Each master brings this raw wool to his workshop. Here it will be washed, combed, carded, spun and woven into cloth by journeymen. Then it is dyed and cut. Step 3: The master pays his workers using Christian principles – they receive enough money to live and support their families Step 4: The master sells the cloth in his shop or to a merchant The Church teaches that the price of goods should be “just” Way to make a living

4 Business Model B This model would have come into use at the end of the Middle Ages with the rise in the merchant class Step 1: Merchant imports a substantial amount of raw wool where it is then distributed to many shops and homes for processing Each step of the cloth-making process is done by different workers in a different location Some are members of a guild, others are not Merchant owns the wool throughout the processes Step 2: The merchant's goal is to make profit – lots of it If he pays his workers less and sells his product for more, he has more profit Step 3: The merchant often uses some of his profit to expand his business to in turn make more money Q: In which model would you rather work? Why? Q: Which model would lead to greater growth in trade and business? Why? Q: What values does each model reflect? Q: Which of these models do you think is in use today? Explain.

5 Ciompi Revolt! We learned that some peasants in England and France revolted In Florence, there was also a revolt The revolt was led by the ciompi, poor day labourers or 'wool carders' There was high unemployment among workers, especially those that did not belong to a guild The ciompi wanted to form their own guild, but were denied They called upon the lower classes to revolt Government was briefly taken over, but they were soon defeated by the powerful guilds

6 Making Money with Money It was not just merchants who brought wealth, bankers did too Many banking houses were established across Florence – Florence became so powerful that its currency became the most important Usury is the term used when charging interest on a loan – This was considered a sin by the Church – Church began to allow loans when they involved risk

7 Politics Politics in city-states was vastly affected by the changing economy Everyone wanted political power – Nobles, bankers, new wealthy merchants, shopkeepers, craftsmen, etc Bankers and merchants soon came to realize that constant political struggle interfered with their business They started supporting strong leaders who promised stability

8 Competition Florence competed with other city-states in banking Bankers often travelled around Europe on business – Led to contact with other cultures Wealthy Europeans, artists and scholars visited Italy – Impressed by their beautiful cities and sophistication These two events allowed Italian values to spread across Europe

9 Black Death Depression? The economy went into a depression after the Black Death Italy did not fully recover until the early 1500s Many merchants and bankers still continued to grow through trade and commerce, though It is thought that this led to a surge in culture – Wealthy people not affected by the depression spent their money on art – They also spent money making the city beautiful – Encouraged loyalty and pride


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