Cotters


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cotters

 

in the Middle Ages and at the beginning of the modern period in England, a stratum of the feudally dependent peasantry, the holders of the smallest land allotments. References to the cotters date back to the Domesday Book (1086). As the countryside underwent capitalist transformation, the cotters became hired agricultural (or factory) workers.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Even though the practice was much more common among the cotter than the owner class, he argues suggestively that it developed in reaction to arranged marriages and an excessive patriarchal authority that controlled children well into adulthood.