Rural labor women are the main body of the late medieval England, in the rural population accounts for more than half, they to agricultural labor, employment, GongFuYe operators and a variety of social identities and roles, such as land holders active in social economic life in the country. Their labor not only to maintain the survival of the family is essential, but also help in rural community internal form a mutually beneficial relationship network, for the rural stability and economic development has made outstanding contributions.
In this paper, in the late medieval England rural working women as the research object, in order to be able to objectively and comprehensively understand the research object of this article, first of all, we deal with the differences of its class attribute and its internal analysis. The author based on the famous historian of Hilton in the late medieval England of the farmers on the definition of "working class", which will be the research object of this article defined the class attribute of the working class. About the definition of "working class", become very early historians to discuss a topic, Hilton it defined as farmers, and points out its basic attribute.
That rural residents, he says, farmers and their ownership or possession (possess/on) the mode of production of agriculture. Land farming is the basic unit of the family, but family in a larger unit (village or village), the latter has a certain degree of collective and community interest and the specification. Not all farmers have been engaged in agricultural production, they can use the employment supplement agriculture, participate in the market transaction, or for other farmers to provide technical services, such as carpenters, the tailor or wine. Is critical in terms of definition of farmers, their agricultural production is not only self-sufficient, but also to feed on the class and the organization, such as political control and extract their surplus profit lords, churches and city. Rural women workers with basic properties of the working class: not only do they take part in the agricultural labor, also through the way such as labor and employment GongFuYe make contributions to the family economy; They have as members of the village and community norms, and also want to Lord obligations, and because marriage or real estate transactions and pay fines to the Lord. Rural labor of women's class attribute, made them with the rest of the class have bigger differences between women.
Rural working women, of course, there are some important internal difference, which is closely related to their family situation. Rich peasant family, usually has more than 30 acres of land and other assets, life more comfortable, the class of women not only engaged in agricultural labor, are likely to land operation and GongFuYe; Medium farmers, is the main part of the farmers, generally hold 15 acres of land, is insufficient to provide all needs of the family, and women engaged in agriculture and widely GongFuYe labor; Small classes land owners and workers, is very dependent on wage labor, women not only want to look for ways to make a living and grow their property, still need to go out looking for other employment opportunities. On the other hand, women's economic activities in rural labor are also because of its life cycle and marital status. The unmarried young women have certain independence, often away from home be servants or employees; Married women are often assisted her husband's career, the most can't independent engaged in different industries with her husband; The widow can generally deal with family affairs and participate in economic activities; Single women, there are quite a number of migrant workers, including the majority with who is engaged in the textile, so that the "textile factory" is often equated with single women.
On women's labor, the author can be divided into families of two kinds of labor and social labor. Social labor refers to the women's assistant for a husband of unpaid family economic activity and have a salary of independent economic activity. Traditional societies tend to female unpaid family economic activities also in domestic labor (housework), and as a female "should do", it demean women family productive labor value, kill their great contribution to the social and economic activities. The late medieval peasant family in Britain, women almost do all the housework, it occupies most of their time and energy. But due to the value of housework and today is no consistent view, so this article does not include it in women's economic activities, and the writing emphasis on women's social labor.
The first chapter rural women's agricultural labor and land management
Medieval England country like other agricultural society, women took part in most of the agricultural productive labor. Due to the backward productivity, labor efficiency is low, agricultural production requires a lot of people, just rely on male labor is unable to do all the work, so the women are often involved in the agricultural labor in what housework. If the gender division of labor, exist in the rural labor of the middle ages also applies only to men. Men, regardless of the housework is not responsible for the family garden of farming, the women in addition to do the housework and various auxiliary farm work, also participated in almost all of the activities in the field. The late medieval England rural women of agricultural labor mainly includes two parts: the part is the women in the family or lords proprietary held on the ground of unpaid labor; The other part is the women as workers in the fields of wage labor employers. Although the two kinds of labor will bring family income, but nature is completely different, the former is seen as part of the rural women's duties, the latter is a way of earning extra income, household.
The agricultural labor, no reward
In the countryside, spring the autumn harvest is the busiest season of the year, when the farmer will be widely involved in the agricultural labor. They petunia arable land, sowing, fertilization, harvest grain, banding, such as transportation, threshing, almost the men to do the work they do. Anthony fitzpatrick Herbert's "book of agricultural section about wife duties, said women should be responsible for all kinds of agricultural work. "Should be sown in March flax... they can be made into shoes, mowing, towels, shirts, blouses, and such necessities... winnow various grain, malt, wash and dry, haying, shear corn, and the need to help her husband's dung, when to pull the plough, hay, grains and the like, is a wife's work." It to a certain extent, reflects the author to his wife's role in the agricultural labor expectations, especially women in real life image of the agricultural labor situation.
And, of course, even when not farming, farmer will often fields. In some places, men tend to choose when to leave go out to work, so the main task for the daily management of the field has become women. John thatcher in the 1440 s, for example, a carpenter working for battle Abbey on a regular basis. He also hold a vegetable garden, the garden from the monastery lords and Commons in the seven acres of land. In the 50 s, he rent an additional five acres in the territory. In this way, their own real estate business is must depend on other family members, to combine farming and wage labor. After the black death, the decrease of population makes it easier to land acquisition, some employees also accumulated a 5-10 acres of property, but also for other income they will not give up the opportunity, so the woman as his wife and daughter will assume the bulk of the work on the family property.
In addition to the family holding, rural women to participate in the management of family garden. The middle ages, almost all farmers vegetable garden near the house, garden can provide apple, pear, peas, beans, Onions, carrots, leek and other fruits and vegetables. These fruits and vegetables sowing, fertilizing, weeding, irrigation and harvesting are basically completed by the farmer. Even though they may be limited, but to the reduction of household spending, improve peasant family food nutrition plays an important role. In the garden products, in addition to the home, are likely to flow into the market, thus subsidies household. In some areas, women are also grown in gardens hemp and flax, and they can be directly after receiving a sale or spin weaving after the sale. Thus, women run garden can not only meet the needs of the family, can also make contributions to the family economy.