The content of labor of peasants - Sociology of labor

The content of labor of the peasants

In the time interval between the decline of ancient culture and the medieval guild organization, a gradual stratification of society takes place. Thus, during the Franconian period (VII-IX centuries), three large social strata clearly appeared. The workers of manual labor, as a rule, cultivating the land, were called. This was the lowest layer of a medieval society opposed to by warriors, soldiers, orators, preachers. fact

The peasantry layer was also not homogeneous. In it there were various social groups: free peasants who had their own land allotment, participating in judicial bodies, independently defending their lands; semi-free and not free, who regularly paid corvee for using the land of the feudal lord, but who provided their existence on their own; peasants, reminiscent of their position of slaves, who worked solely on the master's yard and received from him a contentment.

The feudal lords working in the courtyard were not peasants in the full sense of the word, since they carried out other types of activity. They also did not have independent control over production. To a greater extent, their status corresponded to agricultural workers, deprived of any ownership of the means of production. These were serfs, i.e. working at the fortress of the feudal lord and carrying out the most diverse work on its maintenance. The fulfillment of such duties was typical, as a rule, for those peasants whose yards were in the immediate vicinity of the residence of the feudal lord, although they, like other serfs, were to give part of the harvested crop to the master. So in the estate looked the organization of labor, which included, in addition to farming and livestock, horticulture, fish farming, forestry, as well as the production of textiles, wood and metal products.

The growth of the population (in the era of feudalism, it increased in Europe more than twice) still was not able to change the principles of the economic system. The technologies of land cultivation, as well as the tools used, such as sickle, plait, plow, did not allow the creation of a surplus product on a regular basis and in large volumes. In this regard, when crop failure and loss of livestock, peasants often found themselves in a desperate situation. Reserves that had at their disposal an overwhelming number of households were extremely limited due to the rather low productivity, on the one hand, and the traditions of the appropriating economy on the other.

It's important to remember!

The increase in population stimulated only the extensive development of agriculture, namely, the expansion of cultivated land. This process took place primarily within the farms owned by the farms.

As initiators and organizers of land expansion, feudal lords and churches acted. The increase in acreage was achieved due to deforestation with the involvement of a large number of peasants. Apparently, high productivity could not be achieved through constant pressure from the feudal lords, so landowners resorted to the use of incentives, such as the granting of a certain degree of freedom or special rights.

Nevertheless, the autocratic and self-sufficient economic system of land ownership developed the distribution of labor responsibilities within the farm, thereby creating conditions for a progressive division of labor within the whole society that was designed to destroy the isolation and self-sufficiency of the feudal system.

Approximately to the XII century. due to technical and technological innovations, the improvement of tools and the organization of labor itself, the intensity of agricultural production is substantially increased, as a result of which regular surpluses of agricultural products appear and there is an incentive for their sale by free peasants or landowners. In addition, money as the equivalent of other goods is recognized, which greatly develops the exchange relationship. Natural exchange is losing its position, and this provides landowners with the most diverse forms of using corvee service. The unfree peasant pays natural products, which the landowner or nobleman sells on the market already for money. This forms the desire of owners to search for increasingly intensive forms of work organization.

Thus, guarantees of meeting basic needs represent the basic principle of the economy of the early Middle Ages. Provide ourselves with food - this is the main task, which remains so until the beginning of the era of modern times, leaves its imprint on the significance of labor. The motive of the need for labor retains its classical expression in the natural, saturated by constant physical tension of the existence of peasants. It, naturally, is consonant with ethics of orthodox Christian doctrine and corresponds to spirit of that time. At the same time, the growth of labor productivity in agriculture alters the value orientations of both religion and society itself. Moreover, the society begins to change structurally. The growth of labor productivity made it possible to free up part of the peasants, who began to specialize in handicraft activities. In all likelihood, these were precisely those master serfs who served the feudal castles and developed them to the cities. So in place of the dominance of agricultural production comes handicraft - urban production, which became the basis of the economy of the classical Middle Ages.

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