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Lecture

Towns, Commerce and Economic Change


Department
History
Course Code
HIS109Y1
Professor
Kenneth Bartlett

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Date: September 24, 2012
Towns, Commerce and Economic Change
Money changed the economical strategy
Crusades – 1095-1099 – heavily equipped armies → Palestine, Syria, Israel
knights need to pay for armour,
boats and ships, horses
hard to barter for – produce and livestock not flexible; hard to move funds,
wealth
Byzantine Empire (cap. Constantinople) – sophisticated economy (established trade,
while fighting with Muslims)
Invention of money
1100 -1150 – double entry bookkeeping (accounts for funds coming in and out)
Company of merchants – import spices from Constantinople ← instead of going on the
dangerous voyage, invest money and hire a young merchant
one voyage → return of profit
Merchants – investors – stay in the cities and govern them ← benefits social change
places of mercantile and social activity
Merchants – parasites in the eyes of the nobles (did not have to go on Crusades)
ex-serfs,
self-made men
Towns – used to be easy pickings for nobles (had the right to do whatever they wanted, as
town-protectors, the only security towns had)
change:
otowns under the authority of Emperor (King) – protected by law
otowns guarded by hired lawmen, not nobility
Nobility – outdated itself, became one of the societal classes not fitting in the structure if
the society; leads to social problems and revolution eventually
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