Towns and Their Roles in Feudal Europe

In Feudal Europe, towns commenced emerging at the crossroads of trade routes and became the centers of crafts and commerce. The development of trade contributed to economic growth and, as a result, the capitalist relations among urban citizens began to take shape. The city administration was the major institutional arrangement that embraced the commercial role of towns. In the cities, municipal councils were formed: they had military forces at their disposal, were in charge of finances, and were engaged in the organization of trade and crafts (Post 78). The councils also performed judicial functions and were responsible for the development of urban laws and norms that were concerned with the market, taxation, the relations of the cities with the feudal lords, and so forth (Post 79).

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One of the major preconditions for the expansion of the role of towns was the separation of craft from agriculture. Such types of labor as mining, smelting, processing of metals, fabric manufacture, production of clay goods by using potter’s wheel, and many others became significantly improved (“From the Middle Ages to 1750”). The dismemberment of crafts into new industries, the improvement of production technology, and labor skills required further specialization of handicrafts, their separation from agriculture, and development into an independent branch of the economy (“Medieval Guilds and Craft Production”). An artisan who was engaged only in the manufacture of handicrafts could not exist without ties to the market and exchange for agricultural products. Thus, the isolation of craft from agriculture meant the emergence of commodity production and commodity relations, the emergence of exchange between towns and villages. As a result, a greater number of artisans were attracted to urban regions where they had more opportunities to sell goods.

Works Cited

“From the Middle Ages to 1750”, Britannica, Web.

“Medieval Guilds and Craft Production,” Art History, Web.

Post, Gaines. Studies in Medieval Legal Thought: Public Law and the State 1100-1322. Princeton University Press, 2015.

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"Towns and Their Roles in Feudal Europe." StudyCorgi, 11 July 2021,

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StudyCorgi. "Towns and Their Roles in Feudal Europe." July 11, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Towns and Their Roles in Feudal Europe." July 11, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Towns and Their Roles in Feudal Europe'. 11 July.

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