Peasants making history : living in an English region 1200-1540 / Christopher Dyer
- Dyer, Christopher, 1944-
- Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2022
- Physical Description:
- 1 online resource (400 pages) : illustrations (colour).
- List of figures -- List of tables -- Preface -- Notes on boundaries and measures -- Abbreviations -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Peasants and landscapes -- The west-midland region -- Human impacts on the land -- Lords and landscapes -- Peasants and the making of the landscape -- Peasants, lords, and the changing landscape after 1350 -- Conclusion -- 3. Peasant society: Landholding and status -- Holding land before 1349 -- Changing circumstances: Entry fines -- Landholding 1349-1540 -- Serfdom, 1200-1540 -- Conclusion -- 4. Peasants changing society -- Migration -- Social mobility -- Poverty -- Village community -- Conclusion -- 5. Family and household -- The size and composition of the household -- Space for households -- The character of family life -- Conclusion -- 6. Peasants and their crops -- Fields and their regulation -- Changing agriculture: Managing the fields -- Crops and their use -- Arable husbandry -- Farming methods and techniques -- Conclusion on husbandry and techniques -- Arable and pasture: Managing change -- Conclusion -- 7. Peasant farming: Livestock and pasture -- Horses -- Cattle -- Sheep -- Goats -- Pigs -- Poultry -- Bees -- Animal husbandry on the peasant holding -- Animal welfare -- Marketing animals and animal products -- Conclusion -- 8. Peasants and towns -- Origins of towns -- Peasant migration into towns -- Occupations and commerce: Peasant influence on towns -- Peasant consumption and towns -- Peasants and changing fortunes of towns -- Peasants and money -- Town and country: Cultural connections -- Conclusion -- 9. Peasants and industry -- The role of lords in creating industry -- Urban entrepreneurs and rural industry -- Poverty and industry -- Industry within peasant society -- Conclusion -- 10. Peasant outlook, values, perceptions, and attitudes -- Piers Plowman -- Peasants and the state -- Peasants and lords -- Peasants and religion -- Peasants and the environment -- Individuals and communities -- Conclusion -- Conclusion -- Glossary -- Bibliography -- Index
- This book appraises the role of peasants in the past. Historians and archaeologists, after disparaging and ignoring peasants, are treating them more positively, and this book is taking that view forwards. Using as its example the west midlands of England, this book examines peasant society, in relation to their social superiors (their lords), their neighbours, and their households and finds them making decisions and taking options to improve their lives. Peasants played an active role in the development of towns, both by migrating into urban settings, but also trading actively in urban markets. Industry in the countryside was not imposed on the rural population, but often the result of peasant enterprise and flexibility. If we examine peasant attitudes and mentalities we find them engaging in political life, making a major contribution to religion, recognizing the need to conserve the environment, and balancing the interests of individuals with those of the communities in which they lived. Many features of our world have medieval roots, and peasants played an important part in the development of the rural landscape, participation of ordinary people in government, parish church buildings, towns, and social welfare. The evidence to support this peasant-centred view has to be recovered by imaginative interpretation, and by using every type of source, including the testimony of archaeology and landscape. This work is intended to be accessible to a wide readership.
- 9780191882128 (electronic book)
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references and index
- Other Forms:
- Also available in Print and PDF edition
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