How would you develop a medieval economy

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Status: October 27, 2016

With the deposition of the last emperor in AD 476, the Western Roman Empire ended. With this, the cities founded by the Romans began to decline. Above all, the looting of the Great Migration Period caused great damage. Centuries passed before urban life in Central Europe got going again.

The high Middle Ages - a heyday of cities

At the beginning of the High Middle Ages, in the middle of the 11th century, the population of Central Europe began to increase. Urban life north of the Alps slowly flourished again. Old Roman cities came back to life like Trier, Mainz or Cologne, new cities were founded like Leipzig, L├╝beck or Berlin. New cities emerged, for example, through the merging of a castle with a settlement nearby, or through the establishment of merchant settlements. Cities could also develop around churches and monasteries. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the number of cities in Central Europe is said to have increased tenfold. In the High Middle Ages, Cologne developed into the largest city in German-speaking countries with around 40,000 inhabitants. The city wall of Cologne was even longer than that of Paris in the 12th century.

From a trading center to a township

If a trading center was granted city rights by the sovereign, he was thereby given the right to levy customs duties and traders passing through could be obliged to offer their goods on the city's market. Citizens were given the right to property and self-government. Trade flourished, new citizens moved in, the growing population had to be taken care of, new professions emerged and new branches of trade emerged. In this way, small trading centers quickly developed into affluent citizen towns.