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Abstract

The dominant theme of the nineteenth century was the emergence across the Southeast Asian landscape of a colossal horde of peasant producers, filling up the valleys and expanding through the hill country in their search for the land which was their primary resource. Land and its use structured their lives in fundamental ways. The labour it demanded to make it pro-ductive, the rice and other food it yielded, the power relationships spun about its allocation and use, all were defining characteristics of rural life. The land was, therefore, at the heart of the processes of peasant change. Movement, settlement and exploitation, in the contexts already outlined, created new relationships with the land, between peasants themselves and between peasants and their masters. This chapter seeks to establish how the changing context of social and economic life transformed not only conceptions of landholding and access to land, but also more fundamental appreciations about the place of land in peasant life, and to analyse the implications such changes carried for Southeast Asia’s peasantry.

Keywords

Land Reform Central Plain Communal Land Land Title Swidden Cultivation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© R. E. Elson 1997

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  • R. E. Elson

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