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Peasants influence on the Fren


             The situation and influence of the peasants in reference
             In the 1780's land was the predominant source of wealth
             in France and the peasant the typical producer and very
             Peasant families represented more than 85 % of the
             population. According to historians, like George Rude,
             (P.23) " in France perhaps one in four of the peasants
             owned their land ". Some were regarded as relatively
             well-off " laboureurs ", but most were poor and
             miserable. More than one half were poor share-croppers,
             called " metayers ", who owned no capital and shared
             their produce on a fifty-fifty basis with their
             landlords. A quarter were landless laborers.
             The French peasant was burdened with heavy taxation, he
             paid " tithe " to the Church, " taille, vingtieme,
             capitation and gabelle "(salt tax ) to the State and to
             the " seigneur " of the Parish, he had various
             obligations, ranging from the " corvee "( demanded in
             cash ), the " cens " ( rent in cash ). If he did not own
             his land he had to pay for the use of his landlord's
             In years of bad harvests and depression these obligations
             became intolerable. Between 1730 to 1789 grain prices
             rose by 60%. At the same time wages increased by only
             Studying peasant grievances the Third Estate attacked the
             privileges of the First and Second Estates. They have
             attacked serfdom, as well as the tithe and " champart "
             (feudal rent ). However what the cahiers were still
             lacking, they did not give enough representation for the
             most urgent and serious grievance of the peasants: their
             The whole rural community had general grievances, there
             were the unhappy share-croppers and laborers. In Rouen
             where a 4lb loaf's price rose to 16 sous, they deman
            

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