Middle Ages
Doing Business in the Middle Ages

Doing Business in the Middle Ages
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.31

     challenging words:    further, peddler, countryside, flocked, medieval, acrobat, armorer, wealthy, entertainment, ports, juggler, banking, businessman, peddlers, market, rarely
     content words:    Middle Ages

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Doing Business in the Middle Ages
By Sharon Fabian

1     Once in a while, a person in the Middle Ages needed something that he couldn't produce on his own. Maybe he needed salt for his food or iron to make tools. When that happened in the early Middle Ages, a trade was often made. Maybe one person needed iron to repair his tools for working in the fields, but he had extra grain that he could exchange for the iron. Maybe someone else had an animal to trade for a supply of salt. Trade was the common way of doing business in the early Middle Ages.
2     Trade did have some drawbacks, however. It wasn't always easy to find someone who had the items you needed. It also wasn't always easy to come up with something that they were willing to trade for. So, eventually, a more businesslike system developed. It developed gradually over several centuries.
3     The next step beyond everyone trading for himself was traveling peddlers. Peddlers traveled from town to town carrying a supply of goods that they had bought themselves. They hoped to have the right goods that people would want to buy in each town. When the people who lived near the town heard that the peddler had arrived, they went into town to trade for whatever they needed. Some people had coins and could buy instead of trade.

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