Martin Guerre's Return

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The return of Martin Guerre is a true story dealing with identity theft. This event took place in Artigat in Southern France. Martin Guerre was a peasant that disappeared for several years and was believed to have returned. However, it turned out to be an imposter. People believed the imposter was Martin until a few people stated they knew that it was not him. The imposter was later executed. At the same time the real Martin Guerre showed up. In this era peasants did have some power in shaping and re shaping their own lives. Some of the best examples come from the Guerre family. The kinds of power they had were: being a part of a village with no manorial dues or owed manorial services (), being a rural merchant, and owning enough land…show more content…
The inhabitants of Artigat did not have to pay manorial dues or services. In result they had free and allodial lands. () These lands belonged to the community or the king if there was one. The second kind of power peasants had in shaping and reshaping their own lives is becoming a becoming a rural merchant. The fake Martin Guerre was a rural merchant. He became a rural merchant by developing the Guerre holding in a commercial direction. () The fake Martin would deal with grains, wine, and wool. () Fake Martin also became involved in buying, selling, and leasing land. () He later tried to take advantage of the properties is uncle acquired and passed to him. () The third kind of power peasants had in shaping and reshaping their own lives was owning enough land too free themselves (). They then became independent farmers (). As independent farmers they were the leaders of the peasant village(). They employed the poor, rented out livestock and tools. () They also were agents of the…show more content…
Churches at this time had a large amount of power over people’s villages and God was considered the center of everything. Churches decided what books were ok for its people to read and what services didn’t pollute the community. () The church would sometimes have the final say over kings as well. Churches were the on the highest part of the social scale. Laws were even made based on religion. The churches were so powerful they would even go to war with people of different religions. Peasants were expected to follow the “Great Chain of Being” which meant they were expected to show humble deference to their betters(). The second reason that the modern world highlights the limitations of peasants is they were constantly threatened by scarcity and famine (). A small ice age affected the farming season creating food shortages. () After several famines the population was reduced. In result the price of bread increased and peasants rioted in anger. () Peasants would steal bread and sell it at the price they felt was appropriate and attacked convoys carrying grains.

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