Middle Ages Economy Essay

1392 Words 6 Pages
Middle Age Economy







The economy mostly seen in the early middle ages was feudalism, Europe’s form of government



in the Middle Ages, was developed in the fifth century to meet the changing needs of the time. It



was based heavily on the honor system. The king had overall power, then the lord, then the



vassals, or landowners, and finally down to the peasants, known then as the villeins. The fiefs, or



estates, could be rented out to one vassal who would then rent portions of the fief to three more,



and so on. Each person would give their peer a fee (called the guild) and goods in return for



protection. As an old medieval saying states, "No land without the lord, no lord without the



land." The system became
…show more content…
Money changers were soon holding and transferring large



sums of money and extending loans to merchants. As the demand increased, so did the number



of services. Common financial activities came to include granting loans, investing, as well as



most of the deposit, credit and transfer functions of a modern bank.



A major obstacle to the growth of banks in the Middle Ages was the Church's prohibition of



usury, the charging of interest on loans. As economic activity expanded, however, the papacy



became one of the first to insist that interest should be paid on investments made at a risk.



Because they were forbidden to hold land or engage in more "acceptable" sources of economic



enterprise, money changers in the Middle Ages were typically Jews. After the shift in Church



policy regarding usury, it became more acceptable to be a financier and attempts were made to



expel Jews from their commercial role.



The international luxury trade was centered in Rome during the Middle Ages. By the end of the



thirteenth century, Florentines, as papal treasurers and tax collectors, spurred Florence to become



the banking centre of Europe. Large numbers of families invested capital in commercial and



industrial developments. In the 1290's, the Bardi and Peruzzi families had established branches



in England and…

More about Middle Ages Economy Essay