French revolution primary source document

Here is my primary source document for the French revolution:
http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/355/

Now what is this article about? Well it is written by Arthur Young, an Englishman who traveled through France before the revolution and recorded his expiriences . It is significant because it gives us insight into what France was like in those times. In the document, Arthur says that ” I found many in comfortable circumstances, such as might rather be called small farmers than cottagers, and in Basse Bretagne, many are reputed rich, but in general they are poor and miserable, much arising from the minute division of their little farms among all the children. In Lorraine, and the part of Champagne that joins it, they are quite wretched. I have, more than once, seen division carried to such excess, that a single fruit tree, standing in about ten perch of ground, has constituted a farm, and the local situation of a family decided by the possession.” This shows that most farmers in France were quite poor. Arthur also comments ” At Salbris, in Sologne, for a sheep-walk that feeds 700 sheep, and 200 English acres of other land, paid the landlord, for his half, about 331. sterling; the whole rent, for land and stock too, did not, therefore, amount to 1s. per head on the sheep.” This is a prime example of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Now why is this related to me? Well, if you do not know, I’m a farmer, so many of the things that Arthur is talking about applies to me.

 

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