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.