1300 - 1600 A.D. - Late Middle Ages

The late middle ages were a time of an ascending middle class in the towns, as well as a time of monetised economy.

These times were deeply affected by the devastating aftermath of the plague, which claimed the lives of a third, if not half, of the Europen population. This depopulation caused widespread uprisings involving a profound demographic change in social structures.

The Town

With flourishing commercial trade, the town accumulates more and more wealth, which becomes apparent in the obvious enlargement of the church's nave.


Still, live stock is being kept within the city walls, and there is no canalization, which results in disasterous hygienic conditions. There's a high mortality among the human population, and the plague in raging.

Ultimately, this misery and poverty can only be insufficiently relieved by handouts of the wealthy.


Small Trade

Craftsmen are organized in trade guilds. By now, you can find a pharmacy, a clothier, and mirror maker, among others. Potteries, and salts to preserve food, are just some of the trading goods which can be found in a late medival town. There even is a pressers' shop producing the first books in print lettering.


Autonomous from the Sovereign, the first handicraft enterprises are being established on the countryside, for example a leather manufacture, or a sawing mill.


Agricultue

In order to counteract frequent crop failiures, the three-field crop rotation is being established. Farmers receive minimal wages for the labour they have to carry out as a duty to their lord.


The Lord of the Manor

The military and political supremancy of the Lord of the Manor is prevalent in these times. Castle and town are seperated by stone walls. Armed hostilities between different Lords burden and terrorize the civil population severely. Most of all, farmers living on unprotected granges are being subjected to great sufferings.


The Church

The Church has a great influence on town life. The false doctrine and scandalous conduct of so-called "pardoners" grow into ever larger dimensions. Pardoners sell indulgences, meaning the faithful remit payments to the Church in order to receive absolution from their sins - and in some cases, even the sins of their dead relatives.


A reformer in Lutheran tradition condemns the so-called pardoner and indulgence trade, and demands a translation of the Bible from Latin into the mother tounge of the respective faithful.


All in all, this is an age of religious wars and conflicts. All too many people are being accused of, and persecuted for heresy. Different practices in religious zealousness, e.g. self-flagellation, are increasing.