Medieval City Life

1364 Words 6 Pages
Looking at society today, we can look back and see the progression of city life that has taken place throughout time, and that has led us to what life is like in today’s day and age. From architecture, technology, and relationships, people and objects contained in these cities have transformed humanity, and the idea of city life as a whole. From the Medieval to the Industrial era, one can see the changes in what is considered to be a city and how these changes can affect people individually.
During the industrial era, cities grew rapidly and became centres of population and production. The growth of modern industry from the late 18th century led to massive urbanization and the rise of new, great cities. It first began in Europe, and then
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While the industrial city relies on autonomy and a new sense of independence, the medieval city is heavily community based. Medieval homes are a community in the sense that a household not only contained a nuclear family, but apprentices, craftsmen, and domestics as well, that operate as a family unit. Lewis Mumford illustrates the function of a medieval household through this quote “The members ate together at the same table, worked in the same rooms, slept in the same or common hall, converted at night into dormitories, joined in the family prayers, participated in the common amusements”. It is very common in a medieval household to find different classes of people intermingled because there is no separation of the work life and home life. Since domesticity and labour are combined, the social interactions between classes served as a transformer of the mind. Also, the city was granted a charter from the King. A market system was created, rather than exchanging acts/items through tradeoffs. This resulted in the creation of money. This transformed society, as there was less watch over people, so they became more independent. As long as taxes were being received, people had a sense of independence. An educational system was formed through what individuals could learn from each other through their words and actions, which assisted in everyday tasks. Individuals also had to be socially …show more content…
Houses were “usually built in continuous rows around the perimeter of their rear gardens; sometimes in large blocks they formed inner courts, with a private green, reached through a single gateway on the street”. This demonstrates that even the way houses were geographically positioned served as a container. Medieval homes were considered an open unit, as they were open to many classes and many different types of people. Presence of strangers were welcome, regardless of whose home it was. Homes were constructed in a way that the interior was simply just open. There were no designated area for bathrooms, bedrooms or work spaces. Windows provided light and and air, and fireplaces were a symbol of unity, as it was a great equalizer. Everyone gathered around it for heat, regardless of their age, race, gender, social class, etc. In addition to the way the houses were built, there was usually a high wall surrounding the entire community. This wall acts as a barrier to the outside communities and a container of the community within. Along with the homes themselves, the city was organic, as it would grow as need be. There were no designated roads or streets, as these paths were formed naturally by individuals travelling through the city day by day. There was no preparational planning of the city layout as how there is in modernity. Everything was built to serve present purposes, and was configured as they go. No patterns

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