Political economy a textbook issued by the Institute of by Academy of Sciences of the Union of Soviet Socialist

By Academy of Sciences of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Moscow). - Institute of Economics. C. P. Dutt (ed.). Andrew Rothstein (ed.)

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Sample text

In the period of the early Middle Ages the towns and crafts developed slowly. Town craftsmen produced articles for sale, but a large part of the objects of consumption which they needed they obtained from their own holdings. Many of them had small ploughlands, gardens and cattle. The women engaged in the spinning of flax and wool to make clothing. This showed the limited extent of markets and exchange. In the, countryside the working up of agricultural raw material was at first a subsidiary occupation of the husbandman.

The more developed crafts were finally isolated from agriculture. The towns which had arisen on the lands of lay and clerical feudal lords were subject to their authority. Townsmen owed a number of duties to the feudal lord, paid him quitrent in kind or money, and were subject to his administration and court. The town population very soon began the struggle for freedom from feudal dependence. Partly by force, partly by means of purchase, the towns obtained for themselves the right of self-administration, holding courts, minting coinage and collecting taxes.

The Medieval Town. Craft Guilds. Merchant Guilds Towns had already arisen under the slave-owning system. Such towns as Rome, Florence, Venice and Genoa in Italy; Constantinople and Alexandria in the Near East; Paris, Lyons and Marseilles in France; London in England; Samarkand in Central Asia, and many others, were inherited by the Middle Ages from the epoch of slavery. The slave-owning system fell, but towns remained. The large slave-owning workshops broke down, but the crafts continued to exist.

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