Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Servants in husbandry
(3,380 words)

1. Definition

The German term Gesinde (servants in husbandry; from OHG gisind, “liegeman”) denotes the servants (Knecht) and maids employed (mostly) for pay in agricultural production. Unlike day laborers, they entered into a non-seasonal contract (see 2. below) with a peasant farmer (Peasants) and were integrated into the peasant household (Ganzes Haus).

2. Social aspects

The peasant family can be thought of as a potential workforce, whose …

Cite this page
Flüchter, Antje, Hofer, Sibylle and Klußmann, Jan, “Servants in husbandry”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 30 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_020134>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210601

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