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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.
             hard-working of the age.
             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.
             mill, wine-press and bakery.
             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.
             by 22 %.
             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.
             claim for land.
             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 demanded.
             that it be reduced to half ( Rude: P.89).
             In Brittany, peasants in Rennes complained that the.
             burdens of taxation are such that a strip of lands with a.
             gross income of 40 livres per year makes for the owner.

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