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increased industrial production led to a rise in the number of tradesmen who were prepared to travel and take risks.Cities were seen to have a certain pull and push factor. The term "pull-factor" refers to the fact that prosperous cities could draw individuals from their rural surroundings. The "push-factor" was associated with feudalism and suggests that individuals who could not own land were pushed towards the city.
LESSON 5ORIGIN AND CHARACTER OF MEDIEVAL CITYBenton (1968) advanced eight theories to explain European urban origins in the Middle Ages. Major assumptions and essential elements of each theory are specified below. Mercantile SettlementTheoryUrban centres were based on long-distance trade;Merchants needed to live along the major transport routes; andThe merchant population was mainly composed of foreigners.Market TheoryUrban centres were based on local trade; andTrade, which was dependent on products from the immediate area, required a market and led to the growth of urban centres.Artisinal TheoryA division of labour existed between those associated with agriculture and those associated with handicrafts;This division of labour led to the emergence of a specialist group, known as the artisians, which facilitated the establishment of a town; andThe towns of eastern Germany owe their origin to the artisans.Guild TheoryThe urban population was differentiated according to ethnic origin, socio-economic status (income), and occupation;In spite of the population heterogeneity, people were highly organised within the framework of various centrally organized guilds (trade association); andThe location of the different guilds was determined by the influencethat each one could exercise by offering its services to the emperor.MilitaryTheoryUrban settlements developed as there was the need to establish defence sites;Urban settlements may have been established along the frontier regions;
The functions of these settlements were to protect the region's civilian population and to serve as production centres which providethe army's needs; andLarger cities served as strategic regional centres while smaller cities played a role in the regional defence planEcclesiasticTheoryThe administrative hierarchy of religious institutions (the Catholic and Anglican Churches) was applied to the settlement system and its subsequent growth;Bishops were at the lowest level and resided in all towns, neighbourhoods, and army camps;Archbishops were at the intermediate level and resided in provincialcapitals with administrative functions;The Church leader undertook the functions of religion, education and welfare;The Church granted welfare to inhabitants of the city and its surrounding area.