Recall during the Middle Ages, the so-called Dark Ages, there were rich and poor, a binary society. The economy mainly consisted of farmer Jones raising some turnips and trading them to farmer Ruth for some eggs from her chickens—the barter system. Yes, there was money, coins minted by wealthy sovereigns (the powerful in control) that could be used, but every sovereign had his or her own coins. The barter system was used among the poor. You wanted a new shirt; you traded wool from your sheep to a seamstress. When the wealthy wanted a new shirt, they either stole wool or levied a tax to get the wool. The poor had no power over their own lives but were often required to serve in the sovereign’s army or the sovereign’s fields. And the poor who served the sovereign were often minimally OK with the arrangement because they at least got fed. The question is: How did all that change? Check in next time.