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How did the growth of towns affect both feudalism and manorialism in the Middle Ages?

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SFK&&QAQ | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted November 7, 2012 at 4:36 PM via web

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How did the growth of towns affect both feudalism and manorialism in the Middle Ages?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 7, 2012 at 5:04 PM (Answer #1)

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The rise of towns tended to weaken both feudalism and manorialism. The inhabitants of towns that became wealthy through trade came to resent being dominated by feudal lords, especially when lords levied taxes on their incomes. Merchants, lawyers, and other towndwellers often refused to acknowledge the feudal bonds that theoretically placed them under the rule of lords, usually turning to monarchs to protect their autonomy through special charters. So the rise of towns weakened lords even as, generally speaking, it strengthened kings. Towns weakened manorialism by supplying serfs and peasants with a way to escape their lot in life. Many went to towns to work as wage laborers, thus depriving manors of crucial labor and creating a more fluid workforce in Europe. 

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