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Life in Medieval Towns

Life in Medieval Towns

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Life in Medieval Towns

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  1. Life in Medieval Towns

  2. Introduction • At the start of the Middle Ages, most people lived on Manors in the countryside. • By 12th century, towns were growing up around castles, monasteries, and along trade routes. • Most medieval towns were surrounded by: • Thick stone walls • Visitors had to enter through gates

  3. What stands out in this picture?

  4. Living Conditions Streets were unpaved and crowded with people, horses and other animals. During medieval times, towns did not have garbage collection, so residents threw their garbage in nearby canals and ditches. Some people even threw the garbage out the window. Unpleasant smells as you can imagine.

  5. Growth in the High Middle Ages By the High Middle Ages, towns were again growing. Trading Centers with the East Venice (Glass blowing) Genoa (Banking) Towns in Belgium and Netherlands-Flanders (Fine woolen cloth) London, Paris, and Florence grew at this time as well Trade and growth of Medieval Towns went hand in hand

  6. Charters and Guilds Royal Charter -Allowed people to govern themselves, make laws and raise taxes. -Shift in power from feudal lords to merchants and craftspeople. -Mayor and Town Council Guilds -Both trade and production were overseen by organizations called Guilds. -Merchant and Craftsmen guilds Why do you think Guilds were so important? Why were they created?

  7. Reasons for Guilds Provided help and protection Set Fair Prices Controlled hours of work Maintained high standards (quality of work) -Members paid dues -Age of 7, starting as an apprentice and after many years had to prove they were ready. -Set up a business or Journeymen

  8. What is a Labor Union? A union is a democratic organization of employees in a workplace who choose to join together to achieve common goals. By forming unions, employees can work collectively to improve working conditions, including wages and benefits, hours and job safety, to resolve disagreements of employees and employers and to find the best ways to get the work done. Unions also represent members and all people who work by advocating working family-friendly laws and policies through legislative and political action. Ex: Steel workers, Teamsters, Teachers Union, State Employees, PBA with affiliation….

  9. Do you think Unions are a good or bad idea and why?

  10. Prejudice in the Middle Ages Christian Europe often excluded and mistreated people of Jewish faith. -took land at times -laws that made it harder for Jews to earn a living -targets of violence -opportunities opened up as bankers

  11. Homes and Households Medieval towns were typically small and crowded Most houses made of wood Houses leaned to a point where some were touching from across the street Most boys grew up doing the same work as their father. Most girls married young and learned the skills necessary to run a home and take care of a family

  12. Disease and Medical Treatment -Towns did not have running water -No toilets (people used chamber pots and outside shelters) -Illness caused by dirty/unhealthy living conditions *Leprosy-skin and nerve disease spread from one person to the next *Bubonic plague- contagious as well, caused by bacteria and spread by fleas and rats Hospitals invented during the Middle ages, but very few and ineffective.

  13. “Bleed” patients Most medical treatment involved praying and herbal treatment. “Bleed” patients by opening a vein or applying leeches to the skin to suck out the blood (irony- this made people weaker from the loss of blood, but they didn’t realize this) Medieval doctors believed that “bloodletting” helped restore the balance between body and spirit.

  14. Crime and Punishment Towns were especially dangerous No Streetlights Night watchman patrolled with candle lanterns Trial by Ordeal Trial by Combat Harsh punishments Prisoners were not given food

  15. High and Late Middle Ages in Towns Most people lived in manors in the Early Middle Ages, but as time moved on towns experienced a huge population growth. As trade grew, towns followed. Guilds became popular in regulating industries and protecting workers. Towns were noisy, dirty, and disease ridden.