The economy of the Middle Ages was limited mainly to the primary and the secondary sector. On the country resources were won, but only in small measure processes (mainly of farmers for the internal requirement), while the cities covered the two other sectors with their handicraft and trade. Due to the bad connections between the regions usually only for the direct environment one produced.
The economy in the country
The agriculturally coined/shaped areas constituted a majority of Europe in the Middle Ages. Since there was a very bad infrastructure in these areas, the economical horizon of a simple farmer limited itself to its yard, the village, sometimes also the next city. The farm here often formed a self-support yard, on which the family manufactured nearly all things of the daily use. Thus grain (rye, wheat, oats etc.) was cultivated, cultivated from bread baked, and held cattle (cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry etc.), from which one referred meat and clothes.
Since the beside the work on the own yard had to carry out also still for the basic gentleman Frondienste and a tenth to the church had to pay, most farmers straight could secure so a surviving of their own family and sell only few on the urban market.
Beside the farmers there were few craftsmen, who worked however usually also only for their own village, and/or the basic gentleman on the country also.
The urban economy
The cities covered the secondary and tertiary sector. Here craftsmen lived and in [Dienstleitung|Dienstleister] like prostitute, Bader, Henker, dealer etc.
The craftsmen were usually in guilds (and/or Gilden) organized. Since this had usually the prices, the sales volumes, the quality, which and the number of enterprises adjusted employee number, a craftsman in the city few possibilities of expanding by own efforts. The products were sold by the craftsman on the market. By the guilds the craftsmen in the cities had therefore a relatively well regulated income, which made their getting along for them possible.
In the cities also the trade in the Middle Ages developed to an important support leg of the urban economy. Large commercial companies (e.g. the Fugger, the Hanse) developed, which acted in completely Europe with all possible goods. The rarer a property was, the further it is ex and imported and the enriches made it the dealers, who transported it. From this profit profited also the cities, which occupied such goods with high tariffs. However there were also smaller dealers, whose buyer circle referred to the neighbour city.
Other Dienstleister of the Middle Ages was frequently little outstanding and had often not excessively earned. Nevertheless there were haulage contractors in many cities of bath houses, prostitute, money lender (usually Jews), and so on.
In addition many citizens were field citizens. That is, they had a small field, which served for their living costs before the city.