The Rise Of Economic And Social Changes Between The 11th And 14th Centuries

1151 WordsOct 1, 20155 Pages
Commerce Europe experienced radical economic and social changes between the 11th and 14th centuries. The medieval world was based on feudalism, a highly regulated and hierarchical form of society in which everyone had their place and responsibilities. The manorial system, in which lords owned the land worked by their vassals, or serfs, started to wane in the late Middle Ages with the development of nation-states. Medieval cities, dominated by the guilds that brought economic stability, became the centers of commerce. Many people moved from the country to the city where they found more opportunities to make a living. This demographic shift diluted the power of the feudal lords and forced them to make several compromises. For example, many people who remained in the country negotiated long-term leases for their own plots of land on which they could grow crops to sell or to feed their families. Medieval farmers also increased their crop yields—and their profits—by adapting the horse collar, an improved iron plow, and the three-field system of agriculture. Although many former feudal lords continued to receive a percentage of the harvest, an emerging cash economy undermined feudalism in the countryside and helped support a growing population throughout Europe. Economic changes further stimulated the growth of commerce. The emergence of capitalism created a largely urban middle class committed to expanding markets. National and international trade interests grew as more people
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