History and Citizenship Education (Cycle One)

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Growth of cities and trade

With the growth of trade and cities in the Middle Ages came the development of the bourgeoisie. The rise of this social group, which gradually became more powerful in the social hierarchy, is one of the factors that led to the end of the Middle Ages. It also called into question a social order based on tradition.

The concepts prescribed by the program are not described using specific statements. It is by using all of the knowledge related to a social phenomenon that students develop their understanding of the following concepts: burg, bourgeoisie, capital, charter, right, large-scale commerce, social hierarchy, institution and urbanization.

Student constructs knowledge with teacher guidance.

Student applies knowledge by the end of the school year.


Student reinvests knowledge.

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  1. Impact of trade on society today
    1. Indicates the purpose of trade in societies: the survival of individuals depends on goods they obtain through trade
    1. Indicates the impact of trade on urbanization (e.g. neighbourhood zoning, concentration of services, encroachment on agricultural land, development of road networks)
    1. Names imported consumer goods (e.g. food products, electronic goods, clothing)
    1. Names import restrictions (e.g. customs tariffs, quotas)
  1. Growth of cities and trade and the rise of the merchant bourgeoisie in the Middle Ages
  • 2.1.   Location in space and time
    1. Locates on a map commercial cities at the end of the Middle Ages
    1. Locates on a map major trading routes at the end of the Middle Ages
  • 2.2.   Organization of towns and trade
    1. Describes the organization of a medieval town (e.g. castle surrounded by walls, residential and commercial areas called “burgs” (or boroughs) where artisans and merchants were concentrated)
    1. Names the institution responsible for the town’s administration: the commune
    1. Describes the organization of local craft trade (e.g. artisans made and sold the goods needed by the town’s inhabitants)
    1. Indicates the function of craft guilds (e.g. to control entry into trades, to protect members)
    1. Names craft guilds of the Middle Ages (e.g. butchers, masons, goldsmiths, weavers)
    1. Indicates factors that promoted the development of large-scale commerce in the Middle Ages (e.g. increased agricultural production, the iron wheel, the Crusades, the bill of exchange)
    1. Names institutions that regulated large-scale commerce (e.g. Hanseatic League, guilds)
    1. Names products traded in large-scale commerce (e.g. cloth, spices, metals)
    1. Indicates the role of fairs in the Middle Ages: places to sell goods obtained through large-scale European commerce
  • 2.3.   Social groups
    1. Names activities associated with the development of cities: crafts, trade
    1. Indicates privileges of the bourgeoisie in feudal systems (e.g. charters granting exemption from certain feudal obligations, possibility of forming communes)
    1. Explains the source of the merchant bourgeoisie’s wealth (e.g. the bourgeoisie made a profit from buying and selling products, which allowed them to accumulate capital)
  1. Relationships between institutions and social groups today
    1. Names associations responsible for defending collective interests (e.g. unions, professional corporations, employers’ organizations)
    1. Indicates areas of public administration under the jurisdiction of one of the three levels of government (e.g. water supply and sewage disposal at the municipal level; education at the provincial level; currency and coinage at the federal level)
    1. Indicates issues that could become subjects for debate between citizens and public institutions (e.g. labour standards, social housing, income tax, goods and services tax)
    1. Indicates ways in which social groups can express their concerns (e.g. presentation of briefs to parliamentary commissions, petitions, letters of opinion in newspapers)
    1. Names public institutions that monitor the application of laws (e.g. ombudsperson, Office de la protection du consommateur, Office des personnes handicapées)

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