chapter  XX
Pages 5

Nevertheless, despite the extent of these divergences the problems they raise are trifling compared with that set by the presence on the map of rural ‘franchises’ of two enormous blanks-England on the one hand, transRhenish Germany on the other. In both cases, a fairly large number of communities received charters from their lords, but these were almost exclusively towns. No doubt in almost every medieval town, with the exception of the great commercial centres, a rural element survived: the community had its communal pastures, individual inhabitants had their fields, which the poorest cultivated themselves. The majority of the German or English places with charters were simple ‘burgs’ rather than towns in the modern sense. It is none the less true that what in every case determined the grant of such favours was the existence of a market, a merchant class, and an artisan class, whereas in other countries the movement had affected ordinary villages.