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16From Feudalism to Capitalism


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What was the basis of wealth in the Middle Ages?
What are the characteristics of feudal manorialism?
A decentralized, agrarian, self-sufficient economy. Kings were weak until the end of the Middle Ages, therefore, local nobles or lords held a great deal of power in their local manor.
What was a vassal?
A vassal would pledge his loyalty and allegiance to his liege lord and make payments of military service, work or produce. In return, the lord gave land and protection.
Why did feudalism arise after 476 AD?
When the central government of the Roman Empire collapsed, and Germanic tribes constantly invaded Western Europe, people turned to their local land owning nobles for protection and social order.
What agricultural innovations helped to increase food production in medieval Europe?
the three field crop rotation system
the iron plow
the wind mill
horse harness
What was the one unifying force economically, politically and socially in the early Middle Ages in Europe?
The Roman Catholic Church
Who were the peasants tied to the lands of the lord?
How did the Crusades change the economies of Europe?
Although they failed to permanently seize the Holy Land, those who participated (and the Italian merchants transporting them) brought back new goods (spices, silks, etc) and ideas.
How did the increased trade influence the decline of feudalism?
Italian merchants grew rich from the trade. Cities and trade routes grew. People left the manor to seek jobs in the cities. Northern Italy and Flanders (Belgium, N. France) developed trade in wool. Money began to replace bartering for goods.
What was a guild?
An association in early medieval cities for merchants or craftsmen. It controlled quality and price of the goods produced. It limited entry into the profession - one had to become an apprentice, then a journeyman, then a master craftsman.
What was a charter?
The money raised by sale of charters helped kings gain control over nobles and raise armies. It centralized their power. Charters were sold by kings to urban dwellers stating urban rights and privileges.
What did serfs sometimes run away to the city or town?
If a serf could hide for a year and a day, they could be "freedmen".
What new techniques of trade and business developed in the late
Middle Ages? (Commercial Rev.)
bills of exchange
early European banks (Medicis in Italy)
What was a joint stock company?
Several entrepreneurs (business men risking their money) would pool their resources and own shares of stock in a larger business. Famous ones: Dutch East India Company, British East India Company
What was the purpose of insurance policies?
Entrepreneurs decreases risk and loss by buying a policy. If a ship's cargo successfully arrived, they only lost the insurance payment, but if the ship was lost, insurance paid out for the entire loss of cargo.

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