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From French "paysannerie", meaning "place of the country dwellers".

The class consisting of peasants and serfs (country people, mostly farm workers) in an agricultural society, in which peasants are the most common type of people (can be anywhere from fifty to ninety-five percent of the people).

Peasants are usually poor and live in villages and work farmland which practically belongs to them but is owned by lords.
Thanks to the incompetence of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the peasantry were losing their land and suffered from inflated prices for bread.

The peasantry worked hard, but at least they knew their place and their allies. Appearances were minimal for farm workers, their operations were small scale; they had nothing to lose. The nobility had everything to lose.
by Lorelili December 12, 2010

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