In the rest of the country they had not been allowed to reside in the villages, because their habits of keeping vodka-shops and lending money at usurious interest were found to demoralize the peasantry, and even in the towns their numbers and occupations had been restricted by the authorities.
The acts were directed to restrain the lending of money at usurious rates.
In the later middle ages, especially in Germany, it acquired the sense of usurious or oppressive dealing with money and capital.
They held usury up to detestation, and practically made no distinction between interest on equitable moderate terms and what we now term usurious exactions.
In order to cover this recourse was had as usual, not to remedies, but to palliatives worse than the evil: heavy usurious loans, debasement of the coinage, creation of stocks that were perpetually being converted, and ridiculous charges which the bourgeois, sickened with officialdom, would endure no longer.