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Changes in medieval society. 14.2. Main idea and why it matters now. MI: The feudal system declined as agriculture, trade, finance, towns, and universities developed WIMN: The changes in the Middle Ages laid the foundations for modern Europe. A growing food supply. Changes in Agriculture.

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main idea and why it matters now
Main idea and why it matters now
  • MI: The feudal system declined as agriculture, trade, finance, towns, and universities developed
  • WIMN: The changes in the Middle Ages laid the foundations for modern Europe
a growing food supply
A growing food supply

Changes in Agriculture

Switch to Horsepower

Harnessed horses replace oxen in pulling plows and wagons

Horses plow three times as much a day, increasing food supply

  • From 800 to 1200 the climate warms, opening more land to farming
  • Changes in technology result in more food production
the three field system
The three field system
  • Around 800 three-field systems used- plant two fields and let one rest
  • This produces more food and leads to population increase
  • What were some possible disadvantages of the three-field system?
the guilds
The guilds
  • Guilds develop – organization of people in the same occupation
  • Merchant guilds begin first; they keep prices up, provide security
  • Skilled artisans, men and women, form craft guilds
  • Guilds set standards for quality, prices, wages, working conditions
  • Guilds supervise training of new members of their craft
  • The wealth of guilds influences government and economy
commercial revolution
Commercial revolution

Fairs and Trade

Business and Banking

Merchants develop credit to avoid carrying large sums of money

Merchants take out loans to purchase goods, and banking grows

Society Changes

Economic changes lead to a growth of cities and paying jobs

  • Europe sees Commercial Revolution – changes in business and trade
  • Trade fairs are held several times a year in towns
  • Trade Routes open to Asia, North Africa, and Byzantine ports
diagram questions
Diagram questions
  • How did increased trade increase the power of the King?
  • Why would workers now have to be paid?
urban life flourishes
Urban life flourishes

Growing Urban Population

Trade and Towns Grow Together

Towns are uncomfortable: crowded, dirty, full of fire hazards

Serfs can become free by living in a town for a year and a day

Merchant Class Shifts the Social Order

Feudal lords tax and govern towns, causing resentment

Towns are taken over by burghers – town merchants

  • 1000-1150, Europe’s population rises from 30 million to 42 million
  • Most towns are small, but they help drive change
the revival of learning
The revival of learning

The Muslim Connection

Scholars and the University

Groups of scholars gather to teach and learn; form universities

Written works not in Latin but in vernacular – everyday language

Aquinas and Medieval Philosophy

Thomas Aquinas, a religious scholar, mixes Greek and Christian thought

He is a scholastic – university man; debates issues to increase knowledge

  • Christian scholars read translations of Greek works made by Muslims
  • Crusaders return with Muslim knowledge of navigation, ships, weapons
review questions
Review questions
  • For each of the following words, write a sentence explaining its significance: three-field system, guild, commercial revolution, burgher, vernacular, scholastics
  • How did guilds influence business practices in medieval towns?
  • How were Muslim scholars linked to the revival of learning in Europe?
  • What was the effect of the development of towns on the feudal system?
  • Why would writers choose to produce works in the vernacular instead of in Latin?
  • How did the Commercial Revolution lay the foundation for the economy of Modern Europe?