Life in a Medieval City Themes

Frances and Joseph Gies
This Study Guide consists of approximately 33 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Life in a Medieval City.
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The Rise of the Burgher

The Dark Ages was clearly oppressive towards the so-called "Third Estate" - commoners - with the feudal system creating servitude approaching slavery. The High Middle Ages, prompted by such events as the Magna Carta, began to free commoners from the feudal system and allow them to climb upward, socially. The rise of the "bourg" city structure engendered the banding together of its citizens, "burghers," into guilds, perhaps the first form of a labor union, united by common goals of freedom and the pursuit of wealth. This unity gradually pressed lords, living off the fat of the land, to cede power and wealth to these guilds in exchange for taxes that would allow these lords to continue living as nobility. Charters became the legal document to make these concessions concrete, establishing the arrangement of many guilds united as a "commune."

Unfettered now in pursuit of...

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This section contains 717 words
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Buy the Life in a Medieval City Study Guide
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