Chivalry Is Dead! (Almost)
Medieval society is though of as just a bunch of fighting. Knights on horses running around trying to stab whatever they could find for whatever the reason may be. Grant it, there was fighting for love or for that knight's Lord, but there was much more to the time than fighting. There was trade and economic growth and development. There was a social system based on status and money. All these factors make up Medieval society.
Trade and Towns
There was the country and the city during this time. People that were higher up on the social pyramid lived in the city and people who were lower on the pyramid lived on in the more rural areas. Where you born was where you stayed. Most of the trade occurred with agriculture. The wealthy consumed the luxury goods. As trade grew, so did many of the towns. By 1297, 120 new towns had been established.
Merchants controlled the majority of all trade in the Medieval times. Merchants were lower on the social pyramid, but they weren't the lowest. Merchants would compete with other merchants to see who could trade the most of the best thing. There were German, Italian, and of course English merchants that controlled the trade.