Before governments had regulators with suits and briefcases, says College of William and Mary history professor Philip Daileader, they had knights. The Lancelots of real life went around the kingdom forcing people to pay whatever the knights decided they owed. It was a brutal economic approach. If you think the knights were tough, be thankful you never faced the guild system. It existed to eliminate competition and benefit producers at the expense of consumers. Craftspeople fought each other for control and tried to limit access to the market — at their own expense, it turned out.
Tagged with “medieval history” (2)
Does the existence of hope unfulfilled make for a worse life? Medieval historian Philip Daileader says it might. People in places like 12th and 13th century France lived far more constrained economic lives than we do, but they had no expectations that their situations would ever improve.