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Peasants: Were they rich or poor?

Were peasants rich or poor?

Date:   3/4/2009 3:27:49 AM   ( 12 y ) ... viewed 2641 times

While driving through the Brittany region of France last year, I noticed how many lovely cottages were coming on the market at cheap prices, with acres of land.

My knowledgeable travel companion advised me that they were owned by peasants, who were dying of old age and many such houses were now coming on the market, as their siblings had chosen a city lifestyle.

On looking up the meaning of peasant, I found, on wikipedia:
"A peasant is an agricultural worker who subsists by working a small plot of ground. The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside. The term peasant today is sometimes used in a pejorative sense for impoverished farmers."

It goes on to say "Since it was the literate classes who left the most records, and these tended to dismiss peasants as figures of coarse appetite and rustic comedy, the term "peasant" may have a pejorative rather than descriptive connotation in historical memory"

I have looked up other websites and find that peasants are often referred to as "lower class". I have doubts about that. There seems to be a wealth of information here http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=g792333888~db=all
but I am not sure how accurate and unbiased it is. No time to read.

If you look at modern day studies, such as that by Robbins, you will see that people who live off the land have very high moral values and lead happy lives well into their centenary years.

Maybe they were the rich ones. Perhaps the rich French siblings may do better to keep the country cottages, and grow their own food.

I wonder how good French broadband is in rural areas?

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