The word “peasant” is—and long has been—often used pejoratively to refer to poor or landless farmers and agricultural workers, especially in the poorer countries of the world in which the agricultural labor force makes up a large peasants in ming china pdf of the population. The implication of the term is that the “peasant” is uneducated, ignorant, and unfamiliar with the more sophisticated mannerisms of the urban population. The majority of the people in the Middle Ages were peasants.
Europe during medieval times and endured until the nineteenth century in many areas. Peasants paid rent or labor services to the lord in exchange for their right to cultivate the land. Fallowed land, pastures, forests, and wasteland were held in common. The open field system required cooperation among the peasants of the manor. It was gradually replaced by individual ownership and management of land. 14th century, resulting in more land for the survivors and making labor more scarce.
This process happened in an especially pronounced and truncated way in Eastern Europe. Lacking any catalysts for change in the 14th century, Eastern European peasants largely continued upon the original medieval path until the 18th and 19th centuries. Russia in 1861, and while many peasants would remain in areas where their family had farmed for generations, the changes did allow for the buying and selling of lands traditionally held by peasants, and for landless ex-peasants to move to the cities. Even before emancipation in 1861, serfdom was on the wane in Russia. The proportion of serfs within the empire had gradually decreased “from 45-50 percent at the end of the eighteenth century, to 37. In Germany, peasants continued to center their lives in the village well into the 19th century.
They belonged to a corporate body and helped to manage the community resources and to monitor community life. In the East they had the status of serfs bound permanently to parcels of land. In most of Germany, farming was handled by tenant farmers who paid rents and obligatory services to the landlord—typically a nobleman. Peasant leaders supervised the fields and ditches and grazing rights, maintained public order and morals, and supported a village court which handled minor offenses. Inside the family the patriarch made all the decisions, and tried to arrange advantageous marriages for his children. Much of the villages’ communal life centered on church services and holy days. In Prussia, the peasants drew lots to choose conscripts required by the army.
The noblemen handled external relationships and politics for the villages under their control, and were not typically involved in daily activities or decisions. French villages and argued that rural France went from backward and isolated to modern and possessing a sense of French nationhood during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He emphasized the roles of railroads, republican schools, and universal military conscription. He based his findings on school records, migration patterns, military-service documents and economic trends.