Social Structure in the Late Middle Ages
The Crisis of the 14th century had a great impact on the social structure. The demographic decline and especially the Black Death had a devastating impact on all classes of the medieval society but those who survived generally became stronger and wealthier.
The feudal system eventually adjusted to the new conditions by replacing husbandry with more profitable stockbreeding. Working duty was replaced with payment of a rent which led to weakening of serfdom, while the landowners ensured themselves regular inflow of income during the periods of poor harvests. The Late Middle Ages also saw the emergence of the early forms of capitalism and rise of bourgeoisie which eventually became a counterweight to the nobility.