Cultural Changes
Last Updated 12/11/2007

Rise of the Merchants
During the 1400s, merchants, artisans, and bankers power grew.
This led to the decline in feudalism.
Some townspeople became richer than nobles.
Bankers lent money to kings, nobles, and church officials.
Merchants built mansions.
Some bought castles from nobles who needed money.

Merchant wives set the fashion.
They wore furs and gowns made of brocade.

SSTownsTradeBrocadeCloth.bmp (81654 bytes)
Brocade was woven cloth with raised designs.
Men dressed in colorful jackets, stockings, and feathered caps.

Leisure Time
Townspeople hired private teachers to educate their sons.
Their sons went to universities.
They studied law, religion, and medicine.
They enjoyed art and books.
They supported the work of painters and writers.
They used German, French, and English.

SSTownTradeDante.bmp (107154 bytes)
Dante wrote the Divine Comedy in Italian.
It is one of the most famous poems of the Middle Ages.

SSTownTradeChaucer.bmp (149994 bytes)
Geoffery Chaucer wrote the still popular Canterbury Tales in English.

Result of Cultural Change
Townspeople began to think differently from nobles and peasants.
They wanted to develop their talents.
They wanted to improve their way of life.
They wanted a strong central government.
They looked to kings to provide leadership.

"Brocade."  Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia. 28 Nov. 2007. 12 Dec. 2007.

"Dante." Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia. 11 Dec. 2007. 12 Dec. 2007.

"Geoffery Chaucer." Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia. 10 Dec. 2007. 12 Dec. 2007.

Greenblatt, Miriam, and Lemmo, Peter. Human Heritage A World History. Columbus, Ohio: McGraw-Hill, 2001.