Economically, the “High Middle Ages” were a period of expansion. During this time there was a move toward town development in Europe along with the growth of city-states in Italy. This urban development in Northern and Western Europe created the financial ability for the development of effective monarchies as well as the feudal system by increasing tax collection. Growth began slowly during this time period and then was escalated by the expansion of trade. These changes and the creation of these urban areas and feudal systems would provide the basis of economics through the 17th Century.