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IPFS News Link • Economy - International

The Problem of Poverty

• arclein

The dwellings of medieval laborers were hovels -- the walls made of a few boards cemented with mud and leaves. Rushes and reeds or heather made the thatch for the roof. Inside the houses there was a single room, or in some cases two rooms, not plastered and without floor, ceiling, chimney, fireplace or bed, and here the owner, his family and his animals lived and died. There was no sewage for the houses, no drainage, except surface drainage for the streets, no water supply beyond that provided by the town pump, and no knowledge of the simplest forms of sanitation. 'Rye and oats furnished the bread and drink of the great body of the people of Europe. ... Precariousness of livelihood, alternations between feasting and starvation, droughts,scarcities, famines, crime, violence, murrains, scurvy, leprosy, typhoid diseases, wars, pestilences and plagues ' -- made part of medieval life to a degree with which we are wholly unacquainted in the Western world of th