During the medieval times many people were moving into urban areas and getting out of the countryside. Although many wanted to move to urban areas a lot still believed the countryside was a better style of living. With the black plague going around, the rural areas might have been the healthier choice. So what really was the best place to live during the renaissance.
The urban cities during the medieval times were very small and busy.(“Everyday life in the middle ages”). Having many people in a little town shows why sickness was a big part of this time period. All human waste was disposed into the streets and potentially into canals that may be used for drinking. These streets were quite loud as well having many people searching for their desired shop and shop owners calling out what they were selling. Along the streets each side was lined with houses that were usually built of brick and wood.(“Medieval life”) Being in the cities allowed easy access to shops and even the fastfood of this time. Being near food saved time and money instead of having to make your own or travelling to the nearest town to buy some. The shops were open to customers during the day with signs showing what that craftsman could do because many people could not read during this time.(“Everyday life in the middle ages”) The craftsmen would live above their shop with others of the same trade around them. Having the same trades all around the same area would make it somewhat easier to decide where you needed to go to get what you were seeking.
During the medieval time towns would try and get a charter which allows them to become a borough. This then allows them to elect a mayor.(“ Everyday life in the middle ages”) This was their form of self government and being partly separated from the king. The elected officials could then make the rules and decide how the town would be governed and how trade would happen. Only a few people were allowed to elect officials and women were not apart of the group.(“Town government in the middle ages”)
Not everyone lived in these busy cities. The other half were considered peasants who lived in rural villages and worked as farmers. These peasants would live on pieces of land given to them in return for work.(“LIfe of the village”) Being outside of the big cities allowed you an escape from the fast moving communities that weren’t the cleanest. So this helped avoid getting the plague that would soon be going around. The majority of the people who lived in the countryside worked for a lord. Their job usually consisted of them being farmers. Most would either farm crops or wool and others would work inside the lords house.(“Peasants and their role in rural life”) Since this was usually peasants work, it wasn’t an easy job. This work would last all week, then they got a day off called holy days, which was there time to relax and have fun.(“Everyday life in the middle ages”)
LIving in these rural areas had its disadvantages as well. Food wasn’t as easy as going down the street and buying it, you would have to make your meals. This wasn’t that bad because being a farmer meant you had food to harvest and make. Being secluded also meant you didn’t go out and socialize as much. Most people would stay inside once they got off work and just spend time with their families. The houses they lived in weren’t the greatest but they were better than nothing and served their purpose. The houses usually consisted of wood and straw, occasionally there may have been bits of stone for extra support.
Living in the middle ages wasn’t an easy task. There was many things that made it very different from the way we live today. Which was the better location to live? City or countryside? Living in the countryside partially kept you away from the diseases that went through during this era and we can see why based on the sanitation aspect of city life. Having human feces dumped onto the side of city streets brought diseases as well as unwanted smells. Being out in rural areas was much more sanitary but it also came with its disadvantages such as not having easy access to desired food unless you were willing to make it. It also meant working long days in the fields and being under the control of a lord.
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