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6. Landlords and Tenants: Sharecroppers and Subsistence Farming in Corinthian Historical Context

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Chapter Summary

Living memories of subsistence lifestyles survive in both archives and anecdotes. Three documents from the early 19th century spell out the precise arrangement between landlord and tenant in Greece. One document is published in an obscure Greek regional journal, the second is an entry in the diary of an American philanthropist, and the third is from a letter of complaint to the Greek government from disgruntled tenants. They are pertinent to earlier periods of Greek history because they document agricultural arrangements in Greece rather than some far-flung part of the world. These three documents demonstrate that sharecropping was not simply a contract between landlord and tenant. Instead, the state and other individuals took a substantial share leaving the main stakeholders with a small proportion of the crop for their own use. The documents present an opportunity to explore how much land a family of Corinthian subsistence farmers required to survive.

Keywords: corinthian historical context; Greek regional journal; landlord; sharecropping document; subsistence lifestyles; tenant



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