The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district.
Peasants typically make up the majority of the agricultural labour-force in a pre-industrial society
Pre-industrial society refers to specific social attributes and forms of political and cultural organization that were prevalent before the advent of the Industrial Revolution. It is followed by the industrial society....
, dependent on the cultivation of their land: without stockpiles of provisions they thrive or starve according to the most recent harvest.