** English labor rural areas

English Labor: RuralAreas

Figure 1.--William Morris Grundy depipicts mother and daugter gleaners at virtually the smae time as the famous pianting by Jean-François Millet. Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from fields after they have been harveste. It is a practice described in the Bible. Gleaning was a legal right granted to cottagers/landless peasantry during the medieval era, but was ended by a House of Lords ruling (18th century). The caption of the Grundy photograph read, "Extremely hard working and resonant women - taking a break to pose for a photograph.".

The rural poor with few exceptions did not own land in England. The industrial Revolution began (mid-18th century). At the time, the land was mostly owned by aristocrats controlling large estates and byh the gentry with smaller estates. The landed gentry, or the gentry, is a historical British social class of landowners who could live from rental income, often she rferred to as the gentry, or at least had a country estate. This was normally much smller than the estates owned by the aristocracy. The landholdings of the gentry were significantly expanded during the regin of King Henry VIII when he disbanded the monastaries. The before the Industrial Revolution wax tht the great buklj of the popultion lived in the coiuntry and was involved in agriculture. And the people actully working the land did not own it. This was a very different situation than what transpired in France after the Revolution (1789). As a result of the Revolution, the French peasantry gained control of the land they had been working. This has been described as the greast gift of the Revolution. Too often, when assesing the English Industrial Revolution and the condition of urban workers, the idea is perpetrated by Marxist authors that workers in the countryside read idelic lives. This was not the case. Rural workers were pooly paid and lived hard lives of drugery and poverty. This is not to say that conditions in the city for the poor were not terrible. It is to say that the Industrial Revolution generated great wealth and many more people benefitted nd were better off than was the case before industrialzation. A substantial middle class was created which unlike the aristocracy supported a range of reform movements. They read the Dikensian stories and were moved, supporting reform movements . The result was the British weokers were the best paid in Europe.


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Created: 6:07 PM 3/9/2022
Last updated: 6:07 PM 3/9/2022