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Growth of Trade and Towns The Late Middle Ages
Big Picture Questions to Consider During This Unit How did the growth of towns decrease the power of feudal nobles? How did the growth of towns change the social structure in Western Europe?
Barriers to trade during the Early Middle Ages The Manors were self sufficient There was little money available for trade The roads were poor and there were few bridges that had survived from the Roman Empire Church rules: “just price” – no profit allowed Usury forbidden – no interest could be charged on loans
The Crusades had caused an increase in the demand for trade The Muslims in the East had been exposed to new products from Europe Timber Grain Fish Wool Wine Oils Leather Armor
The Crusaders had brought back products from the east that were now in demand in western Europe Cotton, Linen and Silk Perfumes, Dyes and Medicine Gold, Silver and Ivory
Trade Routes Emerge International trading began in Italy – Venice & Genoa
Trading spread from Italy to Northern Europe first following the rivers, and then by ship - hugging the coastline.
The cities in Flanders & those of the Hanseatic League began to spread trade in northern Europe
Markets and fairs emerged as a way for the towns to trade with each other.
Increased trade led for the need of more products = manufacturing Domestic System – All work done at home. Trader buys wool Sells product to highest bidder Domestic System – All work done at home. Trader buys wool Sells product to highest bidder
Increased trading leads to investment. People start building capital. What is “Capital?
A market economy emerges – Land, Labor and Capital is controlled by individuals.
Social Changes created by the growth of towns. Rights of townspeople Guilds Form Rise of the Middle Class Social Changes created by the growth of towns. Rights of townspeople Guilds Form Rise of the Middle Class Merchant & Banking Families Gain Power & Influence
Rights of Townspeople Freedom: If no one challenged the status of an “escaped” serf for a year and a day, they became free. Townspeople did not have to perform services for the Manor. Town Justice: Towns had their own courts – were not under the control of the Lord of the Manor Commercial privileges: Townspeople could sell goods and products freely without getting the Lord’s permission.
Soon Guilds Began to Form in the Towns A Guild is an association or a group of people who are engaged in the same business or the same trade or profession There were two types of Guilds: Merchant Guilds and Craft Guilds Today a Merchant Guild might be the local Chamber of Commerce, and a Craft Guild would be a Union
Merchant Guilds - Exclusive right to trade in the town - Outside merchants had to pay a fee to trade in town. - Made loans to members of the Guild - Supported widows & orphans of deceased members - Exclusive right to trade in the town - Outside merchants had to pay a fee to trade in town. - Made loans to members of the Guild - Supported widows & orphans of deceased members
Craft Guilds - Set hours & conditions of labor -Regulated quality of work - Made loans to members and helped out poorer members - Set hours & conditions of labor -Regulated quality of work - Made loans to members and helped out poorer members
Stages of Craft Guild Membership Apprentice: Age 7: Parents sent boy to work with Master and learn trade (3-12 years) Apprentice: Age 7: Parents sent boy to work with Master and learn trade (3-12 years)
Journeyman - Worked for daily wages. - Became a master by submitting proof which would be judged by masters. - Worked for daily wages. - Became a master by submitting proof which would be judged by masters.
Master Master could start his own business, train apprentices and hire journeymen
The increase in trade and commerce caused a change in society The Rise of the Middle Class
Middle class was called burgesses in England and Burger in Germany. Why did the Middle Class gain so much political power in Western Europe?
Medieval Towns: Ranged in population from 5,000 to 80,000 Narrow streets – dark buildings – little sunlight No sewers – trash in street – animals wander in streets No street lighting No police or fire department Houses often cold and damp in winter – hot and stuffy in summer
Overcrowded and unsanitary towns became an excellent breeding place for disease, especially…… The Black Death
How did the plague impact the social, economic and religious institutions of Europe.
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