- from Middle Ages
In some places in medieval Europe, over 90 percent of the people lived in villages in the countryside.
Peasants worked the land many hours a day. Serfs or villeins (vih-LANES) had to work for the lord a certain number of days per week. Plus, they had to pay the lord fees. These included a yearly tax and also a fee when a woman got married. Other peasants, called freemen, paid the lord rent. But they owed him no fees and less labor.