Explain the following:
In the seventeenth century merchants from towns in Europe began employing peasants and artisans within the villages.
In the seventeenth century, merchants from towns in Europe began employing peasants and artisans within the villages because production in urban areas could not be increased due to the presence of powerful trade guilds. These maintained control over production, regulated prices and competition, and restricted the entry of new people in the trade. Monopolisation was also a common tactic. In the countryside, there were no such rules, and impoverished peasants welcomed these merchants.