Labor in the era of the classical Middle Ages - Sociology of Labor

Work in the era of the classical Middle Ages

The era of the classical Middle Ages is characterized by the development of European cities, the main conditions of existence of which, beginning with the XI-XII centuries, become the following factors:

1. Assignment of a part of the surplus product of agriculture. The city as a community, formed by the division of labor, bases its existence on a continuous increase in the productivity of its surrounding countryside.

2. Observance by the city authorities of political guarantees of equal rights of all participants of the city union.

3. The identity of the interests of the rural and urban nobility, the church, as well as representatives of the third estate - artisans and traders.

The most important economic and political target of the cities was providing guarantees for the sufficient number and timeliness of food supplies. The solution to this problem was the development of communication routes, which were supposed to provide urban consumers with agricultural products of adjacent territories, as well as luxury goods brought from afar. This was also facilitated by a specific mechanism for the organization of the city market, which not only expanded the boundaries of satisfaction of needs, but was focused on controlling the quantity, quality, type, and price level of the Proposed products.

The craft workshop has become the main productive unit of the city. In it, masters began to create unique products, the production of which is impossible in rural areas. In addition, a special culture of urban residents, free producers, not burdened, as peasants, by dependence on unpredictability of nature was formed in craft workshops. Finally, artisans actively participated in the management of the city, contributing, among other things, to the development of its economic potential.

It's important to know!

It is as a result of the "conquest and occupation" the form of urban production, which continues to exist in Western Europe and still today as craft chambers, emerges as the handicraft work of all aspects of city life.

In the 12th-14th centuries, as K. Buecher writes, at least one-third of the population of a major German city was artisans. While "the total population in Frankfurt at the beginning of October 1387 did not exceed 2904 people," about 1378 were artisans ". In a considerable number of handicraft manufacturers were represented in the city council: "Of the 43 members: 14 lay judges (Sheffen), 14 nobility, 15 representatives of craft guilds, thus 28 representatives of local government and 15 artisans" .

The emergence of the city was due to the development of craftwork within the framework of family production, but the prosperity of the craft industry itself was independent.

The view of the classic.

Here is what characteristic features of craft life gives in the book "Modern Capitalism" German sociologist Werner Sombart: "It seems an unusually fruitful idea, indicating that the artisans were the first persons who were determined to live as independent units emancipated from a link with a community that broke ties and with its clan, village, and family" .

The structure of the first medieval towns is in many respects identical with the rural one, since artisans are not completely freed from the need to engage in agricultural labor. However, over time, handicraft subjugates the rural surroundings of the city, so that the city becomes an economic and political center, and rural settlements - a subordinate periphery.

It was in the city that agricultural producers flocked to sell their products, and it was there that they purchased the utensils necessary for the household, since handicraft products were sold in urban markets, fairs, etc. The sociologist, historian and economist Gustav Friedrich Schmoller (1838-1917) in the book "National economy, the science of the national economy and its methods", argues the idea that every medieval city exerted a stimulating influence on the division of labor, developing its branches to supply the rural places all necessary. However, even though the dependence of its production on natural factors and the unpredictability of the results was not inferior, the village was not inferior to the city in its desire to satisfy the growing demand for food.

Thus, commodity exchange increasingly binds agricultural and craft production, increasingly specializing the work of urban producers.

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