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14 Kings, Merchants, Burghers.docx

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University of Maryland
HIST 111
Janna Bianchini

Kings, Merchants, and Burghers 4/1/13 Towns start Growing- Western Europe 12 Century! Western Europe- center had mainly been agricultural up til 12 C - Pick up in economy, better nutrition spur population boom, - European peasants starting to having surplus after feed themselves and pay lord o sell surplus to merchants in towns (new economic opportunities) o easier to travel and inc travel= inc commerce (business) and improves communication o establish trade routes to east through Med. Sea, contact w/ East is easier Lords promote towns (b/c is profitable)- tax people, charge tolls on trade goods (in and out) - Give privileges to people who live in towns (give tax exemptions) to encourage others to move there and inves tin their businesses - Burghers (townspeople)- new class of free people b/c of all the privileges/ trading activity o Lords don’t know what to do w/ burghers or how to integrate them o Huge cultural/ economic/ social gap btwn lords and serfs (unfree) o Burghers can have great influence and power b/c rich - Guild system- people who practice certain trade regulate themselves into regular buyers o Set professional standards for work, decide who can join specific profession, set prices for goods o Butchers, bakers, candle stick makers etc. o control commerce in medieval towns Violence exists btwn towns and lords - riots in towns - lords uncomfortable w/ burghers (expect privileges to be respected) not shy about using economic leverage to demand new privileges o demand something in return for making money - city= town with bishop (secular, ecclesiastical lords) - natural ally of towns is the king (also wants to limit power of bishops and secular nobles) o recovery of kingship from Viking era, reconsolidate royal power and bring nobles back into control in 12 C How to centralize power 1. Expand the king’s domain and wealth (places w/ little wealth like France, monarchy will be weak) 2. Make the king’s role as overlord mean something (make nobles respect authority) o Retaking rights that should belong to the king (justice, finance, etc) 3. Create a bureaucracy o Need administrators to exercise rights, but personally select (keep loyal) educated men of lower social status the administrators, not nobles Lord- king- combination of god appointed king (Carolingian times) and that king should be pinnacle of hierarchal monarchy France- kings were the weakest most powerful dynasty in Europe Avoid succession disputes (usually saps king’s power and gives to nobles that creates new dynasty) - Good luck+ liberal attitude on divorcing queens who don’t bear sons goes 3.5 Centuries w/o lacking legitimate male heir to throne (married well)
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