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In spite of all of these tensions, people still had jobs to support the growing population in cities and towns. Any commodity that was unavailable in individual fiefdoms, was obtained by barter. Artisans made farm implements, dishes, and clothing, which they exchanged for the grain, wine, and meat produced on the farms. Beginning in the tenth century, a new class of trading people emerged, referred to as peddlers. Peddlers traveled from town to town, supplying the nobility and the peasants with the products they needed. The areas frequently visited by them quickly developed into towns, which emerged as major centers of trade and attracted many merchants who supplied the prospering nobility. As the nobility got wealthier, they were able to afford gems, silks, exotic spices, and other symbols of wealth. The merchants who previously went from town to town, were now traveling to foreign locations such as Egypt, Morrocco, and Turkey. The activities of the traders permanently altered the face of European society, leading to a commercial revolution, which was essentially the shift of power from the landlords and nobility to the merchants. Concentration of wealth in emerging cities such as Florence, Venice, London, and Paris attracted merchants worldwide.


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