Class Notes (808,231)
Canada (493,092)
History (3,202)
HIS109Y1 (520)

Economic Structure.docx

6 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
Kenneth Bartlett

Economic Structure 9/18/2012 6:06:00 PM  Basic economic structure of Europe—agriculture was the main way in the middle ages, it was a source of wealth, and the ownership of land was a source of status as well.  The collapse of roman system results in far few population. So, there is no need to experiment diff kinds of crops, lands are abandoned, agriculture was continued in a very primitive way.  Technology started to change things: the classical one field system was placed by 3 field system. People were healthier. Also, people found to put lime on the land, it was good. The old Mediterranean plow didn’t work in the northern Europe, change—a metal plow was more efficient. The problem was that it was very heavy for a horse, the result was that a heavy wheel plow was invented. Also, a horse collar was invented for horses to pull the heavy wheel plow. Horses were expensive however, so ox were still the main animals for farming.  Eat meat was sign of status for landlords. Peasants who actually live the land lived differently, they lived in villages. The villages were the central structure of medieval agriculture-called a manor. A manor included 4-5 houses of landlords, if the landlord have several manors, there was someone in diff manors to take change of the manors.  Then there was a village of peasants. They were either free (could come and go), or they were part of the manor (they were bound to the soil, they were a part of the manor, like properties.)  The manor was supposed to be able to support exactly 1 knight, it should not be so large so that peasants could walk home after a day. Manors fallow certain principles:  Even if a landlord could have 100 manors, each one manor was a separate unit, and governed by diff systems. All that matters to the people living in one manor was the tradition of that one manor. So, everything became localized and dependent.  Money was extremely scarce. With the collapse of Roman Empire, there was no one make it. Powerful people were rich in lands, not in cash. Land was useless unless you have someone to work on it. Without peasants, lands were useless.  The producer of a manor were traded with other products around the manor—it was a barter system. How did this economy work without money for centuries?  Peasants work on the land had to give to the landlord crops in return for living, the other parts of the manor had to –agriculture was cooperative, you don’t just work on your own, but work together and get your share of food based on your lands–this system worked well because everyone had enough to eat and food to sustain and reproduce themselves.  It was not slavery, but cooperative. Numbers were small, there was not a surplus of labor market. The population was small, so you basically stay where you were born. Your views were local, you only contacts were basically families from other manors. And the life was not so bad. Because you were protected—food, security, (landlord protect you because you were his tools to make food), and you were part of a community. –put into historical context  No peasants had all the peasant lands in one land, they were distributed by narrow stripe—to make sure that no one family got all good or bad lands. And with the invention of heavy wheel plows, you need the cooperative system because there is no one peasant family could afford all the tools and animals for farming. Share of responsibilities and share of returns. Common lands:  poor soil but important. In common lands that you we
More Less

Related notes for HIS109Y1

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.