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Word Count: 669
Throughout the economic reforms of the 18th and 19th centuries life for the peasantry moved from one ill to another The turbulent economic changes that marked this period would benefit the lifestyle of one generation only to completely impoverish the next It wasnt until the latter part of the 19th century that the standard of living for the average citizen moved toward what could be considered comfortable In the early part of the 1700s the majority of Europeans were living in rural communities of no larger than 1000 people Their lives focused only on survival They would farm small plots of a larger field the right for which they would often have to pay a considerable amount of their income as rent to the landholder In most cases for warmth they would sleep under the same roof as their animals and heating sources usually consisted of wood peat or dung but very rarely coal While this lifestyle is harsh it had its benefits Due to the fact that one field would be cultivated by a large portion of the community decisions on the crop rotation would have to be determined as a community This provided the peasant with some modicum of freedom When landholders started enclosing fields and began cultivating them for profit it devastated millions Suddenly they had no immediate source of food nor a place to graze their animals The immediate effect was wide spread starvation The long-term result was that with the efficient management of fields and the introduction of new crops like the potato food became more abundant This instituted a population boom throughout most European nations With the introduction of the putting-out system by many merchants as a means to circumvent guild control over the manufacture of goods peasants were able to support themselves With their newfound work and the increased abundance of food they were finally able to feel secure in their livelihoods This was
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