Wanting to flee the life as serfs and being attracted by fertile grounds, German settlers move to Poland and other slavic countries and settle on barren parts of the country. This so called Ostsiedlung stimulates agriculture and strengthens the cities, which are now able to recruit better equipped and well-trained soldiers.
Available to: Poland
Researched at: Town Hall
In the wake of the Mongol invasion, part of Poland was depopulated, and many German settlers moved east. As in Bohemia and the shores of the Baltic, they were hoping to turn from serfs in Germany to respectable freemen beyond the Empire's borders, and they helped revive agricultural production and crafts in some areas, as well as creating or (re-)populating Polish cities. The German institutions and town laws influenced many aspects of Polish urban life, as German laws were often held to be more advanced than the local variants and copied. Because of this it is sometimes hard to differentiate between Germans and Germanised Poles. There was also an influx of Jews, who were welcomed with open arms at about the same time they were banished from England by Edward I.
The founding of several planned cities as well as the construction of wendish outer bailey settlements took place since the beginning of the Ostsiedlung. Soon after the grating of city rights and the settling of the urban areas, many cities used their economically and legally priviliged position, eluded the influence of the landlords and became independent increasing their political and military power.