Chapter 16, Section 1
A Changing Medieval World (1000-1450)
Standard: 7.6.3
  • Understand to get the meaning of the development of feudalism, its role in medieval European economy, the way in which it was influenced by physical geography (the role of the manor and the growth of towns), and how feudal relationships provided the foundation of political order.
The Revival of Trade and Towns

Key Terms and People

crop rotation: changing the use of fields over time

fallow: unplanted

three-field system: a system where a third of the land was planted in spring crops, summer crops, and the final field was left fallow

guild: a group of people practicing the same craft, usually in the same city, who have joined together for their common good

Section Notes

  1. New Ways of Farming

      The Plow in the Horse

    • 1000-1300 population growth in Europe due to improved farming
    • iron blade plows could cut through thick soils
    • horses were faster and more efficient than oxen

      The Three-Field System

    • 1/3 spring, 1/3 summer, 1/3 fallow
    • 2 advantages: 1. increased the amount of land planted each year 2. protected farmers from starvation if one crop failed

      Effects of New Farming Methods

    • food supplies increased
    • people were healthier and lived longer
    • increase in population

  2. The Growth of Trade and Towns

      Specialization and Trade

    • as population increased demand for trade goods increased as well
    • crop specialization: Spain (olive orchards), France (grades)
    • luxury items: silk clothes, gold cups
    • common items: leather boots, metal pots and pans, iron knives
    • product specialization: Flanders in northern Europe (fine woolen cloth); Toledo, Spain (steel swords); Asia (spices, perfumes, silks)

      The Beginnings of a Banking System

    • Italian bankers created, banking system, letters of credit
    • deposit money in one bank, withdraw from another

      Growing Towns

    • increased trade = growth of towns
    • merchants and craftworkers set up shops in towns
    • some towns would have great fairs


    • artisans with the same skills often banded together to form guilds
    • the guild protected and regulated businesses (quality , price , and where and whom a member could sell to)

Summary: Better farming technologies increased Europe's food supply and population. Greater population and wealth led to a growth in towns and long-distance trade.

Study Guide Questions

  • CP 444. How did medieval farmers increase food production?

  • CP 447. What was the purpose of guilds?

  • CYP 447, 1a. List three important changes made by medieval farmers that helped increase food production.

  • CYP 447, 1b. How did these changes lead to an increase in the population of Europe?

  • CYP 447, 2a. What changes in medieval life led to the formation of guilds?

  • CYP 447, 2b. How did guilds benefit their members?

    Practice Test

  • Homework: Choose one
    1. Workbook Chapter 16, section 1 (Page 196)
    2. Answer three of the study guide questions using complete sentences.
    3. Draw a picture of something important from this section and summarize this section of the text (three sentences minimum).