The Social and Economic Changes of the Central Middle Ages
The population expansion of the central Middle Ages, and the growing power of lords to alter customary local arrangements, created the nucleated village out of dispersed component hamlets and facilitated the manors development. Although the ties of villagers to the lord would diminish during the central Middle Ages, they remained no less bound to customary village farming practices. This chapter discusses the economic regions that centered on the North Sea and the Mediterranean was linked at the Champagne fairs. It explains the commercial capitalism that in its essentials would dominate the European economy before the Industrial Revolution was created. The chapter describes the legal criteria of social status which were less important among the peasantry than economic considerations during the central Middle Ages. It talks about the thirteenth-century Europe which had major urban areas whose interaction stimulated greater agricultural productivity, provided occupations for many whom the rural economy could not support and developed regional specialty goods that could be exchanged.