||Trade was what made towns
wealthy. Towns were at first part of a lord's or king's domain, but as townsmen became
wealthier they didn't like having to work for someone else. In northern France towns
struggled to become independent "communes" with violent scenes in the streets.
In England, however, the process was done more peacefully. Town dwellers were to pay a
fixed sum each year in return for the right to govern themselves. The town had the power
to make its own laws, and raise taxes. The townspeople became "burgesses," or